Man killed in Bangladesh landslide during hill cutting

Chattogram, Bangladesh Current Affairs, Natural Disasters, Breaking News, Climate Change 07 Apr 2023

A man was killed and several were injured in a landslide during the cutting of a hill for building a road in Chattogram city’s Akborshah area in Bangladesh on April 7 afternoon.

The deceased was identified as Md Khoka, 45, said sub-inspector Nurul Alam Ashek, the in-charge of the Chattogram Medical College Hospital police outpost.

Chattogram Fire Service’s deputy assistant director Abdullah Harun Pasha said that they recovered the body from the spot.

‘The landslide occurred while some people were cutting a hill at about 5:45pm,’ the officer said.

‘We conducted a rescue operation till 8:00pm,’ he said.

According to locals, Chattogram City Corporation councillor Jaharul Alam Jashim and his followers were cutting the hill to make a road.

Mohammad Jashim Uddin, deputy commissioner (west) of the Chattogram Metropolitan Police, said that ‘some people’ remained missing after the incident.

‘Police and the Fire Service recovered one body and rescued four injured persons from the spot,’ he said.

Chattogram deputy commissioner Abul Bashar Md Fakhruzzaman told New Age that a mobile court, led by executive magistrate Md Omar Faruk of Chattogram district administration, earlier on February 11, sentenced a man to seven days jail for cutting hill.

‘The local CCC councillor was constructing a road in the area after cutting the hill without taking permission from the department concerned. We asked those engaged in cutting the hill to stop the work during a mobile court operation on February 11,’ the DC said.

The Department of Environment authorities filed a case on that day with the Akboshah police station in this regard, he said.

CCC councillor Jaharul Alam Jashim could not be contacted for comment.

CCC chief engineer Rafiqul Islam told New Age that he didn’t know about any road construction project in the hill.

He suggested contacting executive engineer Jashim Uddin regarding the matter but his mobile phone was found switched off after the landslide incident.

However, the Chattogram district administration on Friday evening formed a seven-member probe committee, led by additional district magistrate Rakib Hasan, to investigate the incident, according to the deputy commissioner.

The other members of the committee are assistant commissioner (land) of the Kattali circle, a CCC representative, a Chattogram Development Authority representative, a DoE representative, Akborshah police officer-in-charge and a fire service representative, he said.

‘The committee was asked to submit its probe report within five working days,’ the DC said.

Earlier, on June 18, 2022, four persons were killed in separate landslide incidents in Akborshah area during heavy rain.

According to statistics, landslides killed 127 people in 2007, 11 in 2008, 15 in 2009 and 2010, 17 in 2011, 23 in 2012, five in 2013, six in 2015, 17 in 2016, 29 in 2017 and four in 2018 in Chattogram.

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