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“Taking risks, six families had been living in the building constructed without proper piling works,” said Faruk.

Keraniganj Model police station officer-in-charge Mainul Islam said residents from another five risky buildings adjacent to the collapsed one have been evacuated to avoid any risk.

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Utility services, including gas and electricity, have been cut off from the buildings.

Fires and building collapses in Bangladesh

The incidents of building collapse and fire are occasionally reported in Bangladesh because of poor planning and the use of substandard materials.

On 24 April 2013, the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on the outskirts of Dhaka left at least 1,132 people dead and more than 2,500 injured.

Barely five months earlier, at least 112 workers had lost their lives in another tragic accident, trapped inside the burning Tazreen Fashions factory, also on the outskirts of Dhaka.

Seventy people died after a devastating fire raged through several apartment buildings used as chemical warehouses in capital Dhaka’s old part, Chawkbazar, on 21 February 2019.

Why buildings collapse

Experts attribute the frequent building collapses to faulty design, poor construction workmanship, product failure or lack of following building codes and regulatory requirements.

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Faulty construction and poor workmanship are said to be the major causes of structural and building failures as happened today in Keraniganj where there was no adequate piling works.

Piling is defined as being foundations that are driven or bored through the ground along a certain length of area to carry and transfer loads to soil considered to be weak in structure due to the soil conditions.

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