Bashundhara City

Bashundhara City (Bengali: বসুন্ধরা সিটি) is a shopping mall located in Dhaka, Bangladesh with a rotunda architecture. . Opened to the public on 6 August 2004, the mall is located at Panthapath, near Karwan Bazar, in Dhaka city. Bashundhara City is 21 stories tall, of which 8 are used for the mall and the remaining floors are used as the corporate headquarters of the Bashundhara Group.

The mall has space for 2,500 retail stores and cafeterias and also possesses a large underground gymnasium, a multiplex styled movie theater and top floor food court along with an indoor theme park. The fully air-conditioned shopping mall with rooftop gardens is considered a modern symbol of the emerging city of Dhaka.

Up to 25,000 people visit the mall daily, which is the first western style mall in the city, designed by the Principal Architect Mustapha Khalid Palash and Mohammad Foyez Ullah of Vistaara. The cost of the building is more than $100 million; construction started in 1998. The building has been described as an indication of the severe division between the middle class and the lower class. It is one of the showcases of the development in Bangladesh. The mall is closed on tuesday of every week.

2009 fire

On 13 March 2009, the top floors of the Bashundhara City Complex were damaged by a fire. The blaze started around 1:30 pm after Friday prayers. The fire started at the top floors. Most of the offices however were empty, since it was on a Friday (first day of the weekend in Bangladesh). One person, a security guard, was killed as he leaped off the top of the building in an attempt to escape the fire. Seventeen others were injured. The chief security officer of the building was rescued by a Bangladesh Air Force helicopter (Bell-212) from the roof.

Later during the day, reports indicated three more people were killed – all found in an elevator by fire fighters, 50 people injured – most treated in hospitals for smoke inhalation, and three others also killed. The fire took six hours to be under control due to the summer winds. The fire attracted thousands of onlookers gathered outside the complex from Panthapath to Hatirpul, causing traffic jams on roads.Tanjim Ahmed Sohel (the Ministry of Home Affairs) ordered a three-member committee to review the incident. He blamed a lack of equipment for the duration of the fire. The city mayor, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, ordered all fire services in the capital to the scene with fifteen fire trucks, including ordering army personnel to help.

The fire was finally extinguished after nearly 10 hours. Most of the dead were employees at the building; shoppers were unharmed. The mall was declared closed for two days, and opened to the public on 16 March. According to the mall authorities, the incident cost a loss of Tk200 crore (US$29m).

Building Activity

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