Bangladesh: Massive Fire At Dhaka Clothing Market

    Bangladesh: Massive Fire At Dhaka Clothing Market
    Last updated Apr 04, 2023
    Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]


    • A massive fire erupted on Tuesday at Bangabazar Market — a popular clothing market in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka — destroying at least 3k shops ahead of the Eid festival later this month.[1]
    • Though no deaths have been reported — given that the fire erupted at around 6 a.m. before most shops had opened — at least eight people were injured in the blaze, which destroyed Bangabazar before spreading to three adjacent markets.[2]
    • The fire was brought under control by 600 firefighters after more than six hours, and about 450 police officers were deployed to maintain law and order and prevent looting.[3]
    • According to fire officials, the market neither had any fire extinguishers nor a fire protection system. The cause of the fire is not yet known.[4]
    • After a deadly fire erupted in the Gulistan unit of Bangabazar in July 2018, the Bangabazar markets and surrounding buildings were declared dangerous in terms of fire safety the following year.[5]
    • Bangabazar is home to the country's largest wholesale and retail market for readymade garments, known for selling international fashion brands such as Tommy Hilfiger.[1]


    Narrative A

    Industrial fires are common in commercial places in Bangladesh because of government indifference, lax regulations, and poor monitoring and fire safety arrangements. The nation must develop a credible and accountable health and safety regulation structure and take responsibility for the tragedies that have already occurred.

    Narrative B

    It's not the first time a deadly fire has erupted in Bangabazar. Managed by the Dhaka South City Corporation, the market suffered at least six minor to medium fire incidents and was declared risky in 2019. If only businesses and local authorities had heeded the warnings, such a loss could have been avoided.

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