Online Desk: Nearly 200 shops were gutted in a devastating fire in the New Super Market (South) building beside the New Market here, President of New Market Traders’ Association Dewan Aminul Islam Shaheen said at a press conference.
“According to preliminary estimates, each store had merchandise worth about Taka 20 lakh to one crore…Those goods were destroyed by fire and damaged by the water,” he told the reporters this afternoon.
Besides, Mohammad Shahjahan Shikder, Media Cell (Officer-in-Charge) of “The Life Saving Force Bahini” told journalists that a total of 30 people, including one air force sergeant, three fire service officers, 21 fire fighters, two volunteers, two Ansar members and one scout were injured while extinguishing the fire.
He added: “They are undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and burn unit of the hospital.”
The third-floor shops sustained significant damage from a fire that broke out at 5:40am and was brought under control at 9:10am by 30 firefighting units and teams from police, army, navy and air force, RAB, BGB and Ansar with locals rescue campaigners.
Initially, the fire service official could not give any information about the cause of the fire, the amount of damage and casualties.
Affected businessmen and local people said there were 1275 shops in the building of Dhaka New Super Market (South) damaged by the devastating fire.
Owner of Bismillah Crockery Monir Hossain said, “As far as I know, there are 1275 shops here. Although there are more clothe shops, at least 200 categories of business are done in this market.”
The businessmen said the largest building in New Market had the largest number of clothing stores. However, they had at least two hundred categories of business in this three-storey market.
The third floor of the market had ready-made garments and others, including children’s items, adults’ pants-shirts, t-shirts, jeans items, saree-lungis, three-pieces, travel bags, money-bags, belts and wallets, they added.
The second floor also has ready-made clothing, garment items and crockery on the south side, souvenir shops and on the ground floor curtains, bedsheets, seasonal fabrics, home furnishing items, stoves, microwaves, glassware, home furnishing items.
Meanwhile, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) public relations officer Shariful Islam told reporters that 12 platoon BGB brought the fire under control in the New Super Market (D.) building of Dhaka New Market.
Meanwhile, business leaders said after the fire in New Super Market, many markets including nearby Chandni Chowk, Gauchia, Hawkers Market were closed since morning.
This is done for the overall safety of New Market, they added.
About the frequent fire incidents in the capital, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun said the Bangladesh Police are investigating every incident of fire in the capital.
“If there is any vandalism here, strict action will be taken against those involved in the different incidents in several markets of the capital,” he told journalists while distributing iftar items and cash among the needy people on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.
Bangladesh Shop Owners Association organized the programme at Siddheshwari School and College ground here this afternoon.
The IGP highly appreciated the initiative of the business leaders to provide assistance for needy people at the time of this moment as some workers has already lost their jobs due to some frequent fire incidents in the capital.
The police chief called upon the leaders of the Shop Owners Association to extend a helping hand to the helpless workers.
Meanwhile, Director General (DG) of Fire Service and Civil Defense Directorate, Brigadier General Md Main Uddin said after about three and a half hours of efforts, the fire in the capital’s New Super Market was brought under control. However, it will take time to completely extinguish the fire as there are flammable materials in the market.
He also said the frequent fire incidents in the city markets should be investigated to know the exact reasons behind those.
“Traders are suffering tremendous losses due to fire incidents in various markets just before the Eid… We would request the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to look into the matter as to whether these fire incidents are accidents or sabotage,” he said at a press briefing in front of the New Super Market gate-4 this afternoon.
Black smoke filled the air as the pre-dawn fire engulfed the New Super Market in the capital, forcing the Fire Service to mobilize 30 of their units at the scene with military, paramilitary and police joining their hands to extinguish the blaze.
The Fire Service could not ascertain immediately what might have caused the fire but the incident came just 11 days after a pre-dawn blaze in a near identical manner that broke out and burned several thousand shops at Dhaka’s Bangabazar clothing market.
The Bangabazar fire devastated the shop owners by the loss weeks ahead of the Eid since efforts of hundreds of firefighters and army personnel could do little to save their belongings as the inferno tore through the clothing market, turning it into a pile of ashes.