Massive fire guts Mohakhali’s Sattola Slum, again

Mohakhali fire- morshed mishu - BT

The photo shows smoke billowing from a massive fire at the Sattola Bosti in Dhaka’s Mohakhali around midnight on Monday, November 23, 2020 Courtesy: Morshed Mishu/Bangla Tribune

Twelve firefighting units contained the fire after one hour’s efforts

A fire has gutted an unknown number of shanties and shops at the Sattola Bosti (slum) in Mohakhali, Dhaka.

The fire started at around 11:45pm on Monday, said Mahfus Riven, the duty officer at Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters control room, reports UNB.

Both the flames and billowing smoke were visible from far at the time.

Twelve firefighting units contained the fire at around 1am Tuesday.

Media reports said at least 300 shanties and shops in the slum were destroyed in the fire.

But locals told UNB that the fire razed 500-600 shanties to the ground. The claim could not be verified independently.

A senior Fire Service official told reporters at the scene that they had yet to find out how the fire started, but suspected that the cause might have been some illegal electricity supply line.

Engulfed by heavy smoke, locals work alongside firefighters to douse the flames at the slum in the early hours of Tuesday, November 24, 2020 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka TribuneAfter the fire was doused, thick black smoke kept the whole area engulfed, leaving the firefighters and locals struggling with the rescue and recovery efforts while extinguishing some pockets of flames.

The extent of damage is still unknown and there has been no report of casualties so far.

In December 2016, more than 100 shanties were gutted in another fire at the same slum.

On May 15, 2015, at least 32 shanties were destroyed and some people were injured in a fire at this slum.

Also, on October 7, 2012, another fire had gutted over 100 shanties of the slum and left several people injured.

Fires at slums in Dhaka, home to many low-income people, are quite common and leave thousands of their residents homeless.

According to data compiled by the Fire Service, there were 174 fire incidents at slums in Dhaka, Chittagong and Rangpur last year.

Overall, the data said, fire incidents across the country rose by 22.5% to 24,074 last year, compared to 19,642 in 2018, killing 185 people and causing a loss of Tk330.41 crore.
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