Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Burnt rescuer flown to S’pore

PMO to bear treatment cost

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits Mohammad Ezazuddin Kaikobad at Dhaka Combined Military Hospital yesterday. Ezazuddin suffered burns while trying to rescue a garment worker from the Rana Plaza debris on Sunday night. Photo: PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits Mohammad Ezazuddin Kaikobad at Dhaka Combined Military Hospital yesterday. Ezazuddin suffered burns while trying to rescue a garment worker from the Rana Plaza debris on Sunday night. Photo: PID

A rescuer, who sustained burn injuries while trying to rescue trapped garment worker Shaheena from Rana Plaza rubble on Sunday night, was flown to Singapore for better treatment on the instructions of the prime minister.
An air ambulance carrying Mohammad Ezazuddin Kaikobad, a volunteer aged around 35, took off for Singapore from Shahjalal International Airport last night.
Ezaz was undergoing treatment at the burn unit of Combined Medical Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka with around 55 percent burn injuries. He left the hospital around 7:40pm, said CMH officials.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will bear his treatment costs, estimated to be around Tk 1.40 crore, sources at the PMO told The Daily Star.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Ezaz at Dhaka CMH and instructed the authorities concerned to send him to Singapore for better treatment by an air ambulance, said an ISPR release.
During a meeting with the members of Peshajibi Shamunnay Parishad at noon yesterday, Hasina said, “We have taken steps to send him [Ezaz] to Singapore for better treatment.”
Ezaz along with five other rescuers, including two army personnel, entered a tunnel inside the rubble of Rana Plaza on Sunday night to pull out Shaheena, who got trapped behind a beam on the third floor.
The rescuers earlier sliced some rods of the beam, but could not pull Shaheena out, as her body could not slip through the tiny space.
Around 10:00pm on Sunday, when Ezaz was cutting a rod with power saw, a fire broke out from the sparks that originated from the rod-cutting, prompting the rescue team to retreat immediately and leaving Ezaz badly injured.
Ezaz was first rushed to Savar CMH and later shifted to Dhaka CMH early Monday, said an official of Dhaka CMH.
“He [Ezaz] was kept on ventilation support. Most of the upper parts of his body from the abdomen, including the face, have sustained burn injuries,” said the official of the burn unit.
Ezaz, who was involved in building construction jobs, used to reside in Khachukhet in the capital. The army control room at Savar, however, mentioned that the address of his residence is 72, West Tejturi Bazar.
During a visit to West Tejturi Bazar yesterday evening, it was learnt that Ezaz along with his three siblings built a three-storey building there, but they had been residing in Khachukhet.
But it was not clear whether Ezaz, son of late Abdur Rouf Chowdhury, lived in the Khachukhet residence alone or with his family members.
“He [Ezaz] came here just two days before the incident of the building collapse,” said one of the tenants of their Tejturi Bazar residence.
Mohammad Farid, a shopkeeper next to the residence, said Ezaz had expertise on building construction works.
“He is a man of benevolent disposition and is always willing to help others,” he said, adding, “We didn’t know he went to Savar. I saw him on television channels on Sunday night.”