Bracing for deadly fires

Bracing for deadly fires

The breaking of news of the Gulshan fire on the electronic media on the late evening of last Sunday had something awfully panicky. The fire broke out in the late evening and it was completelydoused at around 11 PM. In the frenzied melee 2 died as they jumped off two different floors of the 14-story apartment building. Firefighters rescued 22 injured persons. Compared to the sheer enormity of the blaze in a 14-storey building, the deaths, injuries and damages were paltry. The relatively spacious location of the high-end building had a lot to do with this. The fire was caused by an electric short-circuit originating in a lift.

Despite its limited scale and nominal casualties, upon learning about the Gulshan blaze many in the city have been reminded of the 2010 Nimtoli fire in the old Dhaka. A total of 124 died in that inferno, 117 on the spot. The Nimtoli fire was dubbed a grisly tragedy, made to occur due to the combination of a number of factors. Those range from the apathy towards the imperative of ensuring a safe and secure life for the dingy apartment's tenants, dysfunctional electric lines, density of people and the narrow entry and exit routes. Chemical factories downstairs were singled out as a major contributor to the fast spread of the blaze. In comparison, the Gulshan apartment complex was a meticulously constructed building. What it lacked was the inhabitants' preliminary skill in using the different facilities. This shortcoming became dominant after the fire broke out.

As the Bangladesh capital is filled with high-rise buildings and apartments beset by stopgap measures, devastating fire accidents in the future cannot be ruled out. The Gulshan fire didn't earn that infamy thanks to the apartment builders' caution to follow the mandatory rules. Still, the people in charge of smooth electric supply throughout the building failed to install a foolproof short circuit system. Shortcomings like it are many. Some people have blamed the central AC system for the fire's spread throughout the building. Others may cite the identical sounds of various alarms, including that of fire, in the building. These and some other negligible faults run the risk of becoming great drawbacks after a fire accident. Many feel like heaving sighs of relief over the fact that both the building authorities and the apartment owners or tenants didn't have to face embarrassing situations over the fire. As for example, one may pick out the two fatal jumps. The two avoidable deaths followed out of desperation were sad and unacceptable. The persons who went for the extreme path of jumping off the higher floors had thought it to be the wisest way.

With roads cleared for the fire fighters to go near the fire-engulfed apartment, and the DNCC mayor overseeing the rescue operations were common spectacles on that evening. The Gulshan fire incident was a unique case. It had no comparisons with the other blazes that occurred in the capital. The tragic fires in the older part of Dhaka break out for many reasons. Along with tampering of laws to save money, a section of the constructors boast of their direct links with the mid-rank high-ups. When it comes to fire disasters, a small number of irregularities or the failure to notice a flaw may spell doom. The fire incidents like that of the Gulshan blaze may not remain tamable in the future. Newer types of irregularities may aggravate the scenarios. In spite of being confined to the nature of merely a big accident, the fires like that of Gulshan teach people, by default, how to cope with disastrous blaze incidents. Meanwhile, the hot summer days are setting in fast. It's time to take precautions to keep deadly fires at bay.

[email protected]

Share if you like

Filter By Topic