At least 15 buses of the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation were burnt in a fire that broke out at Joar Sahara depot in Dhaka early Saturday.
Of the buses, eight were already out of service, officials said.
Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader instructed foolproof investigation into the fire incident within three working days.
‘If the BRTC alone carry out probe it may not be reliable,’ he said as he directed the corporation to include representatives of police and journalists in the probe body.
BRTC chairman Faird Ahmed Bhuiyan told New Age that a five-member probe body, led by Road Transport and Highways Division additional secretary Shafiqul Islam, was formed on the day, which would start work from today.
Two officials from the BRTC, one from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and a journalist were included as members of the committee, Faird added.
According to the BRTC operations department, the fire at the depot was first detected at 1:15am.
Uttara fire service senior station officer Md Shafiqul Islam told New Age that seven fire-fighting units from Uttara, Kurmitola and Baridhara fire stations went to the spot at 1:30am and brought the fire under control by 3:30am.
Joar Sahara bus depot manager Mohammad Moniruzzaman said that their workers were doing night shifts when the incident occurred and at that time 164 buses were at the depot.
Of the burnt buses, five were in service double-decker buses and one in service minibus of Ashok Leyland company and one in service Chinese single-decker CNG-run bus, he said.
Of the eight burnt out of order buses, five were Chinese single-decker CNG-run buses, two South Korea’s Daiyu-made single-decker buses and one single-decker Chinese bus.
The damaged buses were beyond service, said BRTC officials.
As the fire broke out, workers drove more than 70 buses out of the depot and parked them on Airport Road, Moniruzzaman said. ‘Otherwise, damages could have been lot more.’
He added that the origin of the fire and the amount of damages would be known after the investigation.
In a meeting on Eid preparations at the BRTA head office, Obaidul Quader wondered how the fire broke out and where the security guards were.
‘If it was a man-made problem then take immediate action,’ he asked officials. ‘There are people in the BRTC who can carry out subversive acts,’ he added.
RTHD secretary Md Nazrul Islam visited the depot on Saturday morning with other senior officials.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country