Fire accident in Dhaka - June 2010 - Bangladesh

Funds allocated:
US$ 175 000

Affected population:
Over 100 people died and over 200 suffered burn injuries

The emergency

A devastating fire broke out at Nimtali, Dhaka city on June 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm. Some people at the site stated that an explosion in electric transformers started the fire which spread to a storeroom containing chemicals and gas canisters. Fire raced through several apartment complexes which killed over 100 and over 200 people suffered moderate to severe burns. Stocks of blood products and emergency medicines diminished rapidly and needed immediate attention. Many injured needed specialized treatment like skin grafting and repair following burn.

Fire hit the area like a bomb blast, without warning, when the city’s residents were going for dinner.

Funds allocated

At the request of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, supported by the WHO Representative to Bangladesh, US $ 175 000 was allocated for the emergency from SEARHEF to provide health care support to the burn victims.

How it made a difference

SEARHEF quickly provided substantial funds to mount an appropriate response to the emergency.

The nation observed national mourning day on 5 June 2010 in memory of the victims of Nimtali fire tragedies.

Procuring essential medicines and equipment

With SEARHEF support, essential drugs, equipment and other medical supplies were speedily procured for effective management of burn victims and delivered to the ‘Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit’ of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, thereby reducing disability and mortality amongst the victims. In particular, antibiotics critically needed for burn victims were augmented by using the fund.

Firefighters moving dead bodies after the fire

Rapid assessment

A rapid assessment of the situation and follow-up assessments were done to understand the impact of one of the worst fire accidents in Dhaka city and the gaps that had to be filled for health care response. A health cluster meeting was held in this regard where utilization of SEARHEF was discussed.

Provision of essential health care

Supplies and drugs were provided to rapid response teams that were mobilized by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to provide essential health care services to the burn victims.

Timely allocation and appropriate use of SEARHEF reduced long-term disability and death among burn victims.