Relatives throng DMCH, photos in hand but no hope in their hearts

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Staff Reporter:

A heart-wrenching scene was enacted outside the morgue of the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital(DMCH) throughout Thursday, with the wailing of the near and dear ones of those killed in the horrific fire incident in Old Dhaka.

People who survived the fire but had family members missing started thronging the morgue since morning.

Bachchu Mia, in-charge of DMCH police camp, said 67 bodies were kept at the morgue of the hospital and the deceased included five women and three children. Sixteen injured people were admitted to the hospital while 21 others received primary treatment at DMCH, he added.

However, most of the bodies could not be identified till noon as those were too badly burnt by the fire.

As of Thursday night, 40 deceased were identified and the bodies of 38 of them were handed over to their relatives.

Thirty-six of the identified deceased are Arafat, Shahadat Hossain, Helal Uddin, Enamul Haque Kazi, Mosharraf Hossain, Kamal Hossain, Siddique Ullah, Wasi Uddin, Syed Khabir, Jummon, Ali Hossain, Yamin Khan Roni, Morshed Alam, Mithu, Sajib, Hafez Md Kawsar, Abdur Rahim alias Dulal, Mahir, Sonia, Abu Bakkar Siddique, Imtiaz Imroze Rasu, Masud Rana, Mabubur Rahman Raju, Ashraf Haque Rajan, Omar Faruk, Md Ali, Apu Raihan, Jasim Uddin, Md Raju, Md Nayan Khan, Ayesha Khatun, Anwar Hossain, Siam Arafat, Mojibur Hawladar, Alauddin Mahi and Nur Hossain.

Visiting DMCH morgue area, the UNB correspondent found the relatives of the missing or those assumed dead holding their photos, hoping for any news on them, even the worst.

Doctors, nurses and all staff were found working without any break to provide treatment to the injured victims.

Members of law enforcement agencies were also found taking the names of missing people from their relatives to make a list.

One concern among those milling about the DMCH premises is that many of the bodies brought in have been charred beyond recognition. Head of the DMCH Forensic Department Sohel Mahmud informed that forensic tests will be carried out in such cases to identify them through DNA profiling.

He also said that they will set a serial number on the corpses to identify them easily.

Nine injured victims were admitted to the hospital’s Burn Unit, with the condition of one described as critical by the hospital authority.

Rifat Newaz was one of those waiting outside the Burn Unit, in search of his uncle Zahir Uddin, who went missing as his house was burnt to ashes.

Another man named Giasuddin came in search of his sister-in-law. She had gone to a pharmacy in Churihatta when the fire ripped through the neighbourhood, and remains missing.

Store owner Abdur Rahim was closing his shop when the fire happened, his brother Ismail said. “We failed to trace him after the incident,” he said.

Rahim was later found among the 38 identified deceased.

At least 67 people were killed and around 41 others injured in a devastating fire that broke out at a chemical warehouse and raged through four other adjacent buildings in the city’s Chawkbazar area on Wednesday night.unb

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