The isolation unit for coronavirus patients at United Hospital was makeshift, it lacked fire safety measures and was built in violation of the Bangladesh National Building Code, fire service officials said yesterday.
A devastating fire, which started from an air-conditioning unit in one of the four rooms there, killed five senior bed-bound patients, who could not get up and escape, on Wednesday night.
“This extension was built in violation of the building code. The hospital authorities did not seek fire security clearance from us when building the extension. While the main hospital has a fire licence, it was also necessary for them to get a similar clearance for the annexe,” said Debashis Bardhan, deputy director (Dhaka division) of Fire Service and Civil Defence.
He claimed the fire service department did not even know that such an extension was built.
“The main building had a fire hydrant but this extension did not. The extension did not have a fire exit either,” he said.
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Image: Anisur Rahman, Daily Star