FR Tower deaths were 'murders', says Minister Rezaul Karim

Public Works and Housing Minister SM Rezaul Karim has described the deaths of victims in the FR Tower fire as "murders", adding that the government will take stern action over failure to implement fire safety recommendations in multi-storey buildings.

Published : 29 March 2019, 08:35 AM
Updated : 29 March 2019, 02:09 PM

After inspecting the fire-ravaged FR Tower on Friday, the minister told the media, "I believe that the incident was down to negligence. This wasn't an accident, it's murder."

"We will take legal action (against building owners). No matter who the owner is, whatever his influence, circle, power or last name - no one will be spared. Unlike the past, tough measures will be taken."

Four floors of the 23-storey building on Kamal Ataturk Avenue, a commercial district of the upscale neighbourhood, suffered extensive damaged in the fire that started sometime after 12pm on Thursday.

Fire crew working to douse the fire at the FR Tower in Dhaka's Banani on Thursday. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

At least 19 have died and about 100 have been injured in the fire. However, the police puts the number of casualties at 25.

Despite having many offices of commercial entities, the building did not have adequate fire management system, according to State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman.

Fire Service and Civil Defence Director General Md Sazzad Hussain said he saw some fire extinguishers in the building but those were out of service.

Real estate company Rupayan erected the 22-floor Faruk Rupayan Tower on a land owned by one “Faruk”.

No official of the realtor could be reached for comment immediately.