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Bangladesh: Uninsured merchants suffer fire losses of over US$63 mln

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Feb 2017

A devastating fire on 3 January damaged a large market in Dhaka, causing an estimated loss of over BDT5 billion (US$63.4 million), and left around 2,500 people without a livelihood. Most of the shops at the gutted Gulshan 1 DNCC Market were uninsured. Mr Sher Mohammad, chairman of the market’s shopowners’ association, said the losses caused could be around BDT5-6 billion, reported Dhaka Tribune.
   There were around 700 permanent and temporary stalls in the two-storey market. No casualty has been reported. The fire started at 2.30 am and firemen put it under control around 6 pm on the same day.
   A shopowner Mr Anwar Hossain Mawla said that most of the merchants at the market had been unable to buy insurance because of a land dispute between Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and the shopowners’ association.
   It has also emerged that the market did not have any fire prevention or fire fighting system. The market lacked a water source, forcing firemen to look for a source farther away from the site. An inquiry committee has been formed to investigate the fire.
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