Blackout, heavy traffic hit parts of Old Dhaka after building blast

The explosion that ripped through a building at Siddique Bazar killed at least 16 people with more victims in critical condition

Published : 7 March 2023, 03:40 PM
Updated : 7 March 2023, 03:40 PM

A massive explosion that ripped through an Old Dhaka building has cut the electricity supply to Siddiq Bazar, Nayabazar and North-South Road.

Siddique Bazar, a crowded marketplace, has been without power since 5 pm on Tuesday, after a blast struck the seven-floor building on North-South Road.

The power connections of some customers in the area have been disconnected in the aftermath of the blast, but the distribution line remains unaffected, said Bikash Dewan, managing director of Dhaka Power Distribution Company.

A team is on standby to address the situation, he added.

After the explosion, the presence of the local people on the road caused traffic congestion, which obstructed the rescue efforts by first responders. The police had to halt traffic on several roads.

Asma Siddika Mili, deputy commissioner (traffic) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Lalbagh division, said traffic came to a halt on the main road as well as the adjacent lanes and alleys in the area. It will require some time for the situation to return to normal, she said.

Mostak Ahmed, the deputy commissioner (traffic) of Wari Division, said traffic congestion was also seen in the Motijheel and Ramna areas.

The explosion killed at least 16 people with more victims in critical condition. Currently, 11 units of the fire service are involved in the rescue operation as many individuals remain trapped under the rubble of the building.

The explosion badly damaged the first two floors of the building. It housed several stores for sanitary products and household items. The explosion took down the walls and sent debris flying onto the street. The blast also damaged a bus on the street.