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A Bailey Road fire survivor tells it all

Published : 01 Mar 2024 10:49 PM | Updated : 02 Mar 2024 04:26 PM

“Just ordered the food. Suddenly, I heard screaming all around followed by the stench of smoke, and after a while, a loud bang.

I went out and saw the fire below. I went upstairs. Then the power was cut off. Darkness and heavy smoke lay all around. Many people were burning while in the rush of people. I could see many people lying unconscious. I was trying to save myself. I jumped down from the sunshade through the kitchen window of Kacchi Bhai Restaurant. Then I remember, I was taken to DMCH Hospital.” Md Amin, a 

student of Daffodil University, spoke about his terrible ordeal in the awful fire Thursday night outside the emergency department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

“Me and Minhaz Bhai and several others went to Bailey Road. Minhaz bhai and I went up to Khanas restaurant on the fourth floor of the building. We sat there and ordered food and took selfies. After a while I heard screams and saw smoke all around.”“After a while the screaming stopped. But suddenly I heard an explosion. It was around 9:50 at night. The stairs were covered in black smoke. I went up quickly. In the meantime, the electricity was cut off. I lost Minhaz Bhai in the  rush” he added.

He said “I turned on my mobile light and went up and down again. I saw that everything was on fire below.”

“I have been looking for Minhaz Bhai for a long time, but I have not found him. From floor to floor I heard cries, screams and cries for survival. I have seen many people burn in the light of mobile phones. Help me, help me was ringing in my ears.”

Amin said “Everything seemed like a nightmare. I could not find any way to survive despite many attempts. Later, I somehow went down and went up to the sunshade in the kitchen of Kacchi Bhai restaurant. I tried to jump a few times but I was afraid. Again, the sound of crying from behind, and seeing the burning scene, I jumped to try to escape.”

Amin said, “After jumping down, I felt like my hip was broken. I could not stand up. Crawl to some sort of main road. I called Soumit Ahmed Aranya, the senior elder brother of the university, and explained the incident over the phone. After that I was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital with the help of fire service personnel.”

At least 46 people were killed, and 22 others sustained severe injuries by the devastating fire on Thursday night.

Firefighters rescued 75 people, including 42 in unconscious state, from the rooftop and different floors of the seven-storey Green Cozy Cottage.

Most of the people died as they jumped off the building, or from burns or suffocation, said firefighters who brought the fire under control around 11:50pm.

Fire officials say the blaze spread fast due to the presence of gas cylinders on several floors in the restaurant kitchens. People could not leave the building due to smoke in the staircase.