United Hospital Blaze

Fire service submits probe report Sunday

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:34, Jun 06,2020


A fire might have been ignited from an old air conditioner at the isolation unit of United Hospital and then spread quickly due to sluggish rescue effort of the hospital authorities, finds investigation of the fire service.

The probe committee of the Fire Service and Civil Defence is going to submit their report on the fire incident today, said fire service deputy director Debashish Bardhan, also a member of the committee.

Police and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha are separately investigating into the incident, but they were yet to finalise their reports.

Blaze in the COVID-19 isolation unit of United Hospital killed five patients on the night of May 27.

Ronald Micky Gomez, son-in-law of one of the deceased, Vernon Anthony Paul, has filed a case against United Hospital blaming that their poor response led to the deadly fire.

Ronald alleged in the First Information Report that he first noticed smoke from an air conditioner of doctors’ room and he tried to douse the fire immediately, but there was no fire extinguisher.

He said that the patients’ beds were movable, which could have been easily taken out, but none of the hospital doctors, medical staff and security personnel came up with help.

Fire service DD Debashish told New Age that the hospital authorities had used old machines and outdated fire safety equipment for the makeshift COVID-19 isolation unit.

Debashish said that they have recorded statements from 20 people including the hospital authorities, doctors, nurses, family members of victim patients for their report which they also planned to submit to the home ministry.

Meanwhile, police probe team chief, additional deputy commissioner of Gulshan police Abdul Ahad said that they were yet to complete taking statements from victim families and witnesses.

Shagufa Anwar, chief of communication and business development at the hospital, earlier told New Age that they completed an internal investigation and were sharing the findings with fire service and other probe teams.

The High Court has asked United Hospital, police, fire service and RAJUK to submit their reports on the fire by June 14.

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