See More on Facebook

Culture and society, Current affairs

Dhaka Fire: Rescue called off, death toll 70

Authorities have called off rescue operation after a deadly fire in Dhaka’s old town which has claimed lives of at least 70 people.


Written by

Updated: February 22, 2019

Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon called off rescue operation officially around 12:10pm after nearly 14 hours of efforts.

Maj Shakil Newaz, a director of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, has confirmed The Daily Star of the development.

However, small explosion was reported at a warehouse on the 2nd floor of one of the buildings around 4:30pm that was doused instantly.

Dhaka’s Additional Deputy Commissioner Shafiqul Islam told The Daily Star the bodies will be handed over to legal custodians after autopsy.

The bodies have been kept at Dhaka Medical College morgue for identification. So far, about 37 bodies have been identified and the rest were charred beyond recognition.

Last reported from Chawkbazar, a few teams of fire fighters were still at the spot on standby and additional police force was deployed. The fire fighters formed one probe body to investigate the incident.

Bangladesh government said it will compensate the victims and that it was “a lesson learned” to avert any recurrence in the future.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock over the incident and prayed for the salvation of the departed soul.

Law minister Anisul Huq also extended his condolences to the bereaved families.

According to several eyewitnesses and survivors, the fire began after a big blast in Chawkbazar, a hub in Old Dhaka, around 10:40pm.

According to what can be ascertained, the fire sparked out from a chemical warehouse on the ground floor of the five-storied building named Hazi Wahed Mansion.

The flames quickly spread to three other buildings nearby, including a community centre.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Daily Star
About the Author: The Daily Star is a leading English-language daily newspaper in Bangladesh.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society, Current affairs

No sign of concrete policies for conflict in Thailand’s restive south

Parties offer few if any answers for a 15-year-old deadly insurgency that successive govts have failed to quell. Peace and conflict have never been significant parts of any political party platform in Thailand. This is because a sustainable solution calls for long-term commitment to a policy that could prove to be politically costly. Lasting peace requires self-reflection on the part of both the state and society. Policymakers have to rethink the policy of assimilation that has so far been rejected by the Malay Muslim populace of the southern border provinces because it comes at the expense of their cultural and religious identity. Full-fledged armed insurgency erupted in the far South in the 1960s, some 50 years after the signing of the Anglo-Siam Treaty that defined our current political borders. There was a brief calm in the 1990s, but the absence of violence did not mean peace. A new generat


By The Nation (Thailand)
March 22, 2019

Culture and society, Current affairs

Police accelerate probe into Burning Sun scandal

The scandal has involved police officers, nightclub owners and K-Pop stars. Police on Tuesday accelerated a probe into nightclub Burning Sun, which has been marred by allegations of sexual assault, the illicit filming of sex videos, drug use and corrupt ties with police, as ministers vowed a thorough investigation and due punishment. The Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office asked a Seoul court to issue an arrest warrant for Jung Joon-young, a singer-songwriter suspected of secretly filming sex videos and sharing them in mobile messenger group chats, including Seungri of Big Bang and FT Island’s Choi Jong-hoon. It also filed arrest warrants for a Burning Sun employee surnamed Kim and an executive director at the club surnamed Jang. Kim is accused of illicit filming. Jang is accused of inflicting bodily harm for allegedly assaulting Kim Sang-kyo, a customer who opened the floodgates of allegations


By The Korea Herald
March 21, 2019

Culture and society, Current affairs

Japanese Olympic Committee was step behind when dealing with Takeda charges

The head of Japan’s Olympic Committee said he would step down, as French authorities probe his involvement in payments made before Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Summer Games. Japanese Olympic Committee chief Tsunekazu Takeda’s decision to step down at the end of his current term comes after the JOC was sluggish in its attempts to deal with his alleged misconduct, according to observers. The driving force behind Takeda’s move was a gradual change in the International Olympic Committee’s stance toward his case, due to concerns that the issue could tarnish the image of the Olympic Games. On Tuesday, Takeda, 71, said he plans to resign when his term as JOC president ends in June. The JOC will now have to reorganize itself in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, an unusual move one year prior to an Olympic Games. Takeda also said he


By The Japan News
March 21, 2019

Culture and society, Current affairs

Is Kim Jong-un considering ‘new way’?

Post Hanoi summit failure, speculation grows on what new mode of defense may be. Following the failure to reach an agreement at last month’s summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, tension has been building between the two sides, threatening the negotiations that they have built over the past year. While the breakdown of their second meeting did not lead to a war of words, North Korea said it was considering suspending talks with the United States, while Washington accused Pyongyang of “not doing what it needs to do.” The communist leader warned in his New Year’s speech this year he would have to find a new way for defending the North if the US did not keep its promises. As the US appears to have no intention of taking the “commensurate measures” the North seeks for the denuclearization steps it has taken, speculation has grown as to whether


By The Korea Herald
March 20, 2019

Culture and society, Current affairs

Duterte to deport any ICC official investigating his rights record

Many have called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Duterte’s deadly drug war. International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors will be denied entry and deported if they try to enter the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte for crimes against humanity, Malacañang said on Monday. “Certainly we will not allow any attempt at interfering with the sovereignty of this country,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters a day after the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC became official. The President withdrew the Philippines from the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal last year after ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she had opened a preliminary examination of information brought against the Philippine leader about thousands of extrajudicial killings in his brutal war on drugs. Investigation can go on


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 19, 2019

Culture and society, Current affairs

Flooding death toll climbs to 50 in Indonesia

Aid agencies say evacuees in ‘urgent’ need of help. As of Sunday afternoon, at least 50 people were reported killed and 273 families had been left homeless following a flash flood in Jayapura regency, Papua. The flash flood occurred after heavy downpours in the area from Saturday afternoon to the early hours of Sunday. Jayapura Regent Matius Awoitauw told The Jakarta Post on Sunday that the survivors were in “urgent need” of emergency aid such as food and medication and facilities for burying the dead. Currently, 200 people are taking refuge at his residence while 1,400 others are sheltering in nearby schools. Dead bodies are being taken to hospitals in the region for identification purposes. He added that the regional government was working with the National Police and the Indonesian Military to record and evacuate any other residents from the area while building publi


By The Jakarta Post
March 19, 2019