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Tragedy unfolds as 9 die in Ctg blaze

200 houses also razed at Chaktai slum

WT24 Desk

Relatives wail after a devastating slum  fire killed nine at city’s Chaktai area on Sunday morning.

The word ‘tragedy’ feels tiny in many senses when it comes to the death of Rahima, a victim of massive fire incident who was burnt to death along with three other family members while trying to recover the money  she kept for her daughter’s marriage.

Another Salma Akter, who fortunately saved herself from the fire, was searching something from wreckage and found new book set of her daughter  Taslima who is student of Class four.

My husband is a day laborer and we rent the home after paying 2000 taka monthly. To fulfill Taslima’s dream as an engineer, we are trying our best to educate her.

But now we lost everything as well as our dream, she was screaming holding  the book set.

At least nine people have died and several people injured after a fire broke out at a slum in Chattogram’s Chaktai early Sunday morning.

The deceased were identified as Rahima Akhtar, 55, her two daughters Nazma, 16, and Nasrin, 5, her son Zakir, 10, Aysha Akhtar, 35, and her nephew Shohag, 19, and a woman named Hasina, 35. In the morning fire service men also recovered an infant body around 8 months of age.

According to one resident of the disaster hit slum named Ruma said, I woke up from the sleep after hearing hue and cry of Rahima and we could not resists her to enter her room as she amassed some money for her daughter’s marriage.

‘Who saved us from fire , Ruma said with her weeping voice.

M Elius Hossain Chattogram Deputy Commissioner said, the blaze began early on Saturday morning in the slum near the Bhera Market area and gutted nearly 200 homes.

The district administration has announced it will provide Tk 20,000 for the burial services of the dead.

DC confirmed that fire service personnel have recovered the bodies of eight people from the debris.

The district administration has also formed a four-member committee led by the additional district magistrate to investigate the cause of the fire.

Receiving information, fire service units rushed to spot around 3:30 am Chattogram, said Fire Service Deputy Assistant Director Jashim Uddin said.

Ten fire trucks from four fire service units finally managed to put out the blaze around at 4:15 am.

To protect their property from thief and local people, slum people used to keep their door locked during nighttime.

The victims could not save themselves while the fire broke out and left eight dead, Jashim added.

Chowdhury, Officer-in-charge of Bakalia Police Station said the slum was built illegally on private land next to the Bhera Market by the Karnaphuli’s Rajakhali canal.

According to a victim named Hasina Begum, five locals, including individuals named Sattar, Farid and Helal, collected rent from the slum residents. Different parts of the slum were known under names such as  Sattar Colony and Farid Colony.

After the eviction drive of Karnaphuly illegal establishment, the residents wanted to leave the place, but Satter and Farid threatened them to pay two months house rent.   

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