The members of the Fire Service and Civil Defence have resumed the rescue operation at the Queen Sanitary Market in Gulistan’s Siddique Bazar for the third day without using any heavy machinery, which was damaged in an explosion on Tuesday.

They started removing the accumulated water in the basement of the seven-storey building from 8:30 am on Thursday.

The fire service members couldn’t finish the rescue drive as of Wednesday after the explosion on Tuesday as the fire service does not have the special equipment called shoring, which is needed to conduct a rescue operation in the basement of a vulnerable building like the Queen Sanitary Market.

Briefing on today’s rescue mission, Anwarul Haque, vice-principal of the Fire Service Training Complex, said, “The rescue operation resumed today at 8:30 am. There was a lot of accumulated water in the basement of the building. So we had to remove the water before starting the operation today. We are not using any heavy machinery today.”

The fire service members were seen carrying water from the basement of the damaged building in buckets at around 9:00 am. The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has hung a banner in front of the building which reads ‘risky building’.

Mehedi Hasan Swapan, manager of a sanitary shop in the basement of the building, is still missing. Swapan’s brother Sohag, brother-in-law Nurunnabi and uncle-in-law Abdul Mannan came to Siddique Bazar today as well. They were seeing the rescue works from far and were shedding tears silently.

Members of the executive committee formed by the Rajhdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) visited the place Wednesday. The seven-storied building has 24 columns in total, of which nine were damaged in the explosion. Several other columns have also been affected by the explosion.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Queen Sanitary Market in Gulistan’s Siddique Bazar was heavily damaged after a sudden explosion in the seven-storied market at around 4:45 pm. Two other buildings near the market were also heavily damaged by the explosion. The first and second floor and the basement of the building collapsed in the explosion. As many as 21 people have died in the explosion so far.