Siddique Bazar rescue efforts continue as deaths hit 20, one still missing after blast

The fire service carefully searches the rubble as the building devastated by a blast is declared risky

Published : 8 March 2023, 10:57 AM
Updated : 8 March 2023, 10:57 AM

Firefighters have found two more bodies from the Café Queen building devastated by an explosion, while another victim has died in hospital, taking the death toll to 20, as the rescue operation has continued with at least one more victim still missing.

The bodies were found in the basement of the building on Wednesday afternoon, said Akhtaruzzaman, an assistant director of the Fire Service and Civil Defence.

The two were identified as Momin Hossain Sumon, 45, the owner of Anika Traders, and his employee Robin Hossain Shanto, 20.

The other victim, Mogammad Musa, 45, died at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery around 11pm, said Dr SM Ayub Hossain, resident surgeon at the institute.

The Dhaka district administration had previously handed over 17 bodies to the families of the dead.

The person still missing was Mehedi Hasan Swapan, 38, the manager of Bangladesh Sanitary which was situated in the basement, according to his family.

“We haven’t called off the operation. It’ll continue until we have reports of a victim missing,” said Dino Moni Sharma, a deputy director of the fire service.

He said the rescuers were conducting the operation carefully by removing the debris because the building was at the risk of falling down with its pillars damaged by the blast.

Dhaka South City Corporation put up a sign declaring the building risky.

An explosion ripped through the building on North South Road on Tuesday afternoon. Smoke filled the air and the loud noise caused a panic nearby.

Power connections to the area were cut off afterwards. On Wednesday night, workers were preparing to restore the power lines.

Currently, 31 victims of the blast are receiving treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery.

Dr Ayub said all the 10 victims admitted to the facility were in a critical condition.