Smoke bellows as a raging fire tears through the Mohammadpur Krishi Market in Dhaka on 14 September 2023.
Sazid Hossain

Idris Sheikh had long been an employee of various jewellery shops. He opened a jewellery shop ‘Sagor Jewellers’ at the capital’s Mohamamdpur Krishi Market seven months ago, but his shop was burnt to ashes in a fire that broke out at the market early Thursday.

Since his jewellery shop was in the middle of the market, Idris Sheikh could not recover anything from his shop. He was seen crying in front of the market.

“There was gold worth Tk 15 million in my shop. It was my final belongings. There is nothing left, all my life savings were burnt to ashes. My life is lost. I will not survive unless the government compensates me,” a wailing Idrish Sheikh said.

A devastating fire broke out at the market after 3:30 am on Thursday. Seventeen units of the fire service worked to control the fire. A special team of army, navy and air force also joined the operation to assist the fire service. Firefighters brought the flame under control at around 9:25 am.

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Another jeweller, Nazrul Islam is the owner of Bismillah Jewellers. He along with his wife was seen crying in front of the market after the fire broke out. He said their house is near the market. They woke up at dawn hearing screams. They then rushed to the market and saw fire tearing through it. They could not enter the market. There was gold of Tk 6 million at his shop and all of it was burnt to ashes. He is now worried about how they would survive.

Traders said there were at least 500 shops including groceries, confectionaries, jewellery outlets, plastics, rice, spices, crockeries, clothes and shoe shops, at the market. The fire started at a plastic shop and soon engulfed the adjoining area, which is why no one could enter the market.

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The fire service said there were about 100 shops at the market and the extent of damages can be assessed after investigation. The fire service also declared the market abandoned.

Fire, however, could not reach the east side of the market, according to traders.

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