Two-year-old Yamin was waiting at the entrance of their house at Adabor for another child who went to a nearby shop to buy him a chocolate when a wood fell from the seventh-floor of an adjacent under-construction building.
A part of the wood having a nail in it hit the back of his head. Yamin lost his conscience immediately.
The unexpected and tragic incident happened around 12:30pm on Saturday.
With excessive bleeding, he was rushed to Suhrawardy Hospital. But as his situation deteriorated after putting oxygen mask and injecting saline, doctors advised that he be admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
The relatives then had to go for a rental ambulance as the hospital authorities could not provide one for the poor family of a day labourer, Mohammad Selim.
As they reached near Asad Gate, Yamin lost his pulse. But to try their last, the family took him to the emergency department of the DMCH where the duty doctor pronounced Yamin dead.
“What can we do now? We can’t bring him back by taking action against the construction firm,” the father said yesterday noon when asked about legal measures against the firm.
Selim went to say that since Yamin’s head had been shaved, he was crying. So his mother sent another child to a nearby shop to buy chocolates.
“Who knew such could happen in an instance? His mother was calling him home, but he was waiting for the chocolate,” the father said.
Yamin turned two last Saturday.
As locals protested and police came in, the authorities of Shahjalal Technology and Developments Limited — builder of the apartment project — agreed to give the family Tk 5 lakh and upon police directions assured of “taking proper safety measures” to avert recurrence of such incident.
This correspondent yesterday witnessed that work at the site on Barabo of Mohanpur near Adabor Ring Road was stalled while some people were bringing bamboo to put jute twines (sheets) around the building.
Locals allege despite their repeated demands there have been no preventive measures since the initiation of the construction work more than a year back.
The nine-storey apartment building is being built on a two bigha land in the lane — narrow and densely populated. Roads are there on three sides of the building.
Contacted, officials of the construction firm said they have taken measures to prevent recurrence of such incident at the site as well as at all of its other sites in Mohammadpur and Mirpur area.
The matter of compensation was settled in negotiations among the victim’s family, locals, police and the firm’s authorities.
Later, Adabor police ordered that the construction work be halted till the authorities take proper measures to ensure safety of the people, locals said.
An unnatural death case was filed with Adabor Police Station.
The unwanted incident happened as a recurrence since several people were killed in the near past in Dhaka and also outside the capital due to the negligence in taking safety measures at the construction sites.
Many of them were workers at the sites while some others were pedestrians.
To hear explanation over ensuring that realtors are taking proper safety measures, the High Court last year summoned the officials of Rajuk — regulator of the city’s construction issues — more than one occasion.
The summons came following the death of HSC examinee from Govt Science College, Habibur Rahman Munna, on July 16. He was killed as a brick fell on him while walking by the construction site on Panthapath main road of Shegufta Group.
The multi-storey building had safety curtain on it partially. However, the firm later covered the whole building with jute twine.
Supreme Court lawyer Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star yesterday that besides approving building designs, it is the role of Rajuk who are entitled to monitor whether the construction firms are following the designs and taking proper safety measures to prevent accidents.
In its earlier explanation, the Rajuk authorities defended its role by putting the blame on lack of manpower to perform properly, said the lawyer adding that the firms too should carry out constriction work responsibly.