One killed in Dhaka shopping complex fire (Lead)

March 13th, 2009 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 13 (Xinhua) One firefighter was killed and at least 17 people were injured after a fire broke out at Bangladesh’s biggest shopping complex in the capital city Dhaka Friday afternoon.
A firefighter of the Basundhara Group, the owner of the shopping complex, was killed in the fire in the 19-storey building, the Information officer of the Shamorita Hospital Protit Kumar said.

Hospital sources said at least 17 people were injured in the fire and three of them were in critical condition.

The fire reportedly began at about 1.30 p.m. (GMT 0730) on the 17th floor.

Brigadier General Abu Nayeem Shahidullah, Director General of Fire Service and Civil Defence, blamed lack of equipment for delay in the rescue operation. He said the fire fighters have only one 90-metre-high ladder while in today’s situation four such ladders were needed.

A helicopter was mobilized to rescue a trapped man on the top of the building.

Reports said that the floor where the fire began was for office use and the corporate offices of the Basundhara Group were on the top floors. The building’s eight-storey shopping mall accommodates some 2,500 shops.

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