United Hospital fire

Travel ban on top officials

The government has slapped a travel ban on a batch of top officials of the capital’s United Hospital where five Covid-19 patients died in a fire on May 27 as the investigation is on over the incident, police sources say.

Chairman of the hospital Hasan Mahmud Raja, and its managing director, Faridur Rahman Khan are among those five to six top officials who face the ban, according to the officials at the Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s (DMP) Gulshan division.

Walid Hossain, Deputy Commissioner (DC) (media and public relations) of DMP, said that it’s the responsibility of the investigation officer (IO) to take necessary measures so that the accused can to escape abroad.

An IO usually writes to the immigration authorities after consulting his superior officers, said Hossain adding the ban is a regular process in investigating a criminal case.

Inspector (investigation) Aminul Islam of Gulshan Police Station confirmed this correspondent that travel embargoes have been imposed on the accused of the case over the hospital fire.

Bangladesh Post could not reach DMP DC (Gulshan division) Sudip Kumar Chakroborty for a comment.
Earlier the police investigation report blamed United Hospital authorities’ negligence, along with two other grounds, for the fire incident that caused fatalities at its isolation unit on May 27.

DMP’s additional deputy commissioner (Gulshan division) Abdul Ahad, head of the three-member probe team, said that probe found inadequate safety measures and rescue efforts at the hospital.

The other two causes the police report found are that the isolation unit was made of combustible materials and the sanitiser bottles kept in the isolation unit also contributed to the fatal incident.

‘No activities were seen on the part of the hospital authority to rescue the patients from the burning Covid-19 unit,’ said an official of DMP Gulshan division.

Police prepared the probe report after visiting the scene and speaking to 38 hospital staff members, who were on duty on the day of the fire, said the official, who wished to go unnamed.

Another probe report by the fire service also found that a faulty air conditioner sparked the blaze and United Hospital staff’s sluggish responses led to the deaths of the patients.

On June 3, a relative of one of the deceased patient filed a case against the United Hospital authorities with Gulshan police station.

Hospital's chairman, managing director, CEO, director, doctor and nurses of Covid-19 isolation unit and security officials were made accused in the cases.