19 burnt as bus set afire in Bangladesh

19 burnt as bus set afire in Bangladesh
In agony, heavily bandaged burn victims share the seven beds at the burn unit emergency of DMCH yesterday evening after pickets burnt the people inside a bus near Shishu Park.

A teenage boy died and at least 18 other people were burned after arsonists set fire to a passenger bus near Shishu Park in the capital yesterday, the third day of the opposition blockade.

The dead is Nahid Mondol, 18, of Shibchar in Madaripur.

The other injured include a female journalist and her mother, a female High Court lawyer, a female banker, a policeman and a Dhaka College student.

All the victims were taken to the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where Nahid died around 11:30pm. Doctors said most of victims suffered 20 to 60 per cent burns while at least five were in a "very critical" condition.

The injured journalist is Shushmita Sen of Ekushey Television, while her mother is Geeta Sen.

The two other women are advocate Khodeja Nasrin and banker Masuma Akter, and the injured policeman is Nur Nabi, 55, an assistant sub-inspector at Rajarbagh Police Lines.

With them, the number of arson victims of the BNP-led 18-party alliance hartal and blockade this month rose to 52. Eight of them died so far, including Nahid.

Yesterday's incident happened when blockaders set the Bihanga Paribahan bus aflame with gun powder around 6:30pm, said Shibli Noman, assistant commissioner of (Ramna division) Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Driver Mahbub Hasan, who was instantly on fire, lost control and hit the road divider. He is among those in a critical condition.

The Mirpur-bound bus was carrying about 50 passengers. Most of them jumped out of the vehicle through windows.

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