Thursday, 21 February 2019

The incidents and tragedies will continue!

From Nimtoli (2010) to Chawkbazar (2019), Old Dhaka

Bangladesh has recently faced a deadly accident and it is a fire incident in Chawkbazar, Old Dhaka. It is a big shock to many. But is it really? Calm down, people!

It is not new to the people of Bangladesh and they have become accustomed to it. On 3 June 2010, a big night for some people, wedding parties continued on the roof the building in Nimtoli area. The worst incident happened when an electrical transformer exploded with fire and fire was fanned by flammable items (chemicals). The transformer blast was caused by a fire from a plastic factory's chemicals stored in houses. The factory caught fire from a stove pit near to it where cooks were cooking meals for the wedding engagement party. The density of that area, narrow lanes of Old Dhaka made it more complex for firefighters to stop the blaze. In 2010, the Nimtoli fire in Old Dhaka killed approximately 124 people.

However, nothing has changed. We have not learned anything from the hellfire accident. Chemical warehouses continue to operate in Old Dhaka illegally and old buildings are not demolished. Illegal establishments are at every street of old Dhaka.

It has been a time bomb and it has just blasted into Chawkbazar in Old Dhaka. This fire incident was in a multi-hazardous zone where there were transformers, cars with flammable cylinder bottles and a lot of chemical liquids.  Helicopters were used to spray water and douse the fire as an attempt to aid the firefighters.   

The major challenges the firefighters faced are narrow roads and water shortage in the area. The staircases of old buildings made it more difficult to handle fire service equipment and tools to work on the area. It is now confirmed that the fire was initiated at a four-story building.

So, what are the reasons for such continuous disasters?
Corruption, greed, and negligence kill people and destroy our resources. We must act now and it is time. We have to clear and broaden the roads by breaking the illegal shops, houses, and other infrastructures. We must shift factories and chemical warehouses and ensure enough safety in the area.  Strike a hot metal (iron) with a tool before it cools. You have to shape a metal body while it is hot otherwise it will be difficult and people will forget. If these steps cannot be taken immediately and properly, you know what can happen.

The tragedy is happening in front of our eyes and we see and we mourn and forget. And it continues ……….