Pale doll-like child in the morgue identified

Fairuz Kashem Zamira (3), another victim of the fire at Capital's Bailey Road on the night of 29 February 2024.

The body of the child was found lying on the floor of Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue yesterday, Friday morning. She was labeled as an unidentified body.

Her hair was in a ponytail and she was dressed in a grey short-sleeved T-shirt and a pair of blue pants seemed like a pale worn-out doll. The child has finally been identified

Reportedly, the child had gone to the Green Cozy Cottage building on Bailey Road in the capital on Thursday night. She was killed in the fire along with her parents. The child’s grandfather identified all three of their bodies on Friday night.

The building on Bailey Road caught fire around 9:45pm on Thursday night. Almost 24 hours later around 10:00pm last night, maternal grandfather of the child Muktar Alam Helali identified Fairuz. He said that the child’s name is Fairuz Kashem Zamira (3), her mother’s name is Meherun Nissa Jahan Helali (24) and her father’s name is Shahjalal Uddin (34).

Fairuz with her father Shahjalal Uddin. Both of them were killed in the fire at Capital's Bailey Road on the night of 29 February 2024.

At 10:00am this morning the child’s maternal aunt, Muktarun Nisa Helali talked to Prothom Alo over the phone. She said they had been waiting in front of the morgue since 7:00am.

Taking the bodies of those three with them they started for Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar around10:30 in the morning. The bodies will be buried at her sister’s in-laws house in Purba Goalia village there, she added.

While speaking, Muktarun Nisa was crying. She said Fairuz’s mother Meherun Nisa’s birthday was on 14 September. Fairuz too was born on the same day. Both the mother and the daughter’s birthdays were celebrated on 14 September last year. But nobody knew they would be dying on the same day as well.

Muktar Alam Helali couldn’t stop lamenting since identifying his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter’s body on Fruday night. He said his son-in-law Shahjalal Uddin was an assistant revenue officer working at the tax department of Pangaon office in Keraniganj.

Muktar Alam Helali lamenting after identifying the bodies of his daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law.

He lived at Bashundhara Riverview residential area with his wife and child. They were supposed to go on a trip to Khagrachhari during a three-day holiday. He went to the hospital after failing to contact them on the phone for a long time, Muktar Alam Helali added.

After seeing the body of the child around 10:30am yesterday, this correspondent spoke to officials of Dhaka district administration, Ramna Police Station and forensic wing of Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) several times.

They couldn’t provide any information on the child. They just said the child was one of the victims of the Bailey Road fire. So far, 46 people have been killed in the fire that broke out at the building on Bailey Road. Meanwhile, 11 people are undergoing treatment at the hospital. None of them are ‘out of danger’. Apart from them, 75 persons have been rescued alive.

Fairuz with her mother Meheru Nisa Helali and father Shahjalal Uddin.

After the fire and the deaths, director general of the department of fire service and civil defence, Brigadier General Md Main Uddin while visiting Bailey Road on Friday told journalists there were no fire safety arrangements in the building.

They had issued three letters to the building authorities with warnings about fire risks. But no step was taken in this regard. Meanwhile, the Rajdhani Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) said that the building didn’t have the permission to establish a restaurant or sales centres there.

Despite the fire risk and the lack of permits, eight restaurants had been operating at that building for years. City residents had crowded to dine there on the last working day of the week.

Some of them had taken their children, some with their relatives while some others had gone there with friends. Some of these people used to earn their livelihoods from working at the various establishments in the building.

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