General

Armanitola chemical warehouse fire: 2 owners held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) Monday arrested two chemical warehouse owners from Bagura and Dhaka city in connection with a case filed over the blaze in old Dhaka's Armanitola Friday.

The arrestees are the owners of the warehouse from which the fire broke out and left five people dead.

Mostafizur Rahman, owner of Moin and Brothers, and Mohammad Mostafa, owner of RS Enterprise, illegally stored flammable items and chemicals, Rab spokesperson Assistant Superintendent of Police Imran Khan said.

A special team comprising Rab intelligence and Rab-10 Battalion conducted a drive at Nandigram of Bagura at around 4am and arrested Mustafizur.

Another team of the elite force carried out a raid in the city's Uttara-10 at around 5am and arrested Mustafa.

During preliminary interrogation, both the arrestees said they had been storing chemicals in their warehouses but did not have legal permission to do so.

The fire broke out at a chemical storage facility on the ground floor of the six-storey Haji Musa Mansion early Friday, left five people dead and at least 35 wounded. It took 19 firefighters nearly three hours to douse the flames.

The case over Friday's fire was filed with Bangshal Police Station on the night of the incident.

Illegal chemical warehouses, unplanned building construction, narrow alleys and having so many people squeezed into too little space make old Dhaka highly vulnerable to fire hazards.

In February 2019, a devastating fire at Wahed Mansion in Chawkbazar's Churihatta took away 71 lives; in June 2010, the Nimtoli blaze claimed 124 lives.

Source: United News of Bangladesh