High Court moved for judicial inquiry into fatal fire at United Hospital

A fire burnt down the tent-like coronavirus unit of the United Hospital in Dhaka’s Gulshan on Wednesday night killing five COVID-19 patients.
A writ petition has been filed with the High Court seeking a judicial inquiry into last week’s fire incident at United Hospital’s COVID-19 unit which left five people dead.

Additionally, directives for exemplary compensation has been demanded for the families of the dead in the petition filed by Supreme Court lawyers Redwan Ahmed Ranjib and Hamidul Misbah on Monday.

“The writ petition was submitted to Justice M Enayetur Rahim’s virtual High Court bench today. We are yet to know when the hearing will be held. Once the date is set, Advocate Aneek R Haque will represent the petitioner,” Advocate Redwan told bdnews24.com.

The writ seeks a ruling on why the inability to take legal action against the United Hospital authorities under the provisions of the Medical and Dental Council Act, 2010 should not be declared unlawful and why appropriate legal action should not be taken against the hospital authorities on account of negligence.

The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha or Rajuk chairman has been asked to look into whether the Bangladesh National Building Code or BNBC was breached in this instance.

The health secretary, director general of health, chairman of Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council or BMDC, inspector general of police, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, director general of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, chairman of RAJUK and United Hospital’s managing director on behalf of the hospital authorities were among the defendants.

On Wednesday night, five people died in the fire that broke out in the hospital’s coronavirus isolation unit.

The police later said that three of the patients had tested positive for the coronavirus and the two others negative.

They were identified as Md Mahbub, 50, Md Monir Hossain, 75, Vernon Anthony Paul, 74, Khodaja Begum, 70, and Riaz Ul Alam, 45.

The next day, the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence formed a four-member panel to investigate the incident.

Debashish Vardhan, deputy director of the Fire Service, was put at helm of the team. The other members of the committee are Babul Chakraborty, Niaz Ahmed and Md Abul Kalam Azad.