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  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Cigarette meets hand sanitizer: Burnt physician loses battle for life

  • Published at 05:50 am July 28th, 2020
Sheikh_Hasina_Burn_Institute building_Mehedi Hasan
File photo of the Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Dr Rajib Bhattacharjee died at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery on Tuesday morning

The physician, who suffered burn injuries from a fire that reportedly originated when a lit cigarette came in contact with a bottle of hand sanitizer, has lost his battle for life, six days after the incident.

Rajib Bhattacharjee, 36, a neurosurgeon at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), died at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery around 8:30am on Tuesday. 

The institute's Chief Coordinator, Dr Samanta Lal Sen, confirmed the news of death.

Dr Rajib sustained 87% burns and was in a critical condition.

His wife Dr Anushua Bhattacharjee, 32, who also received 20% burns in the incident, is undergoing treatment at the same institute.

Anushua worked at Dhaka Central International Medical College and Hospital in Shyamoli.

The fire incident occurred at the couple's apartment at Hatirpool in the city around 1am on July 22.

According to Sudeep Dey, a friend of Rajib and also a doctor, Rajib was smoking a cigarette while pouring hand sanitizer from a big gallon into a smaller bottle.

"Suddenly, the cigarette came in contact with the hand sanitizer and started a fire, which spread rapidly."

"His wife sustained burns while trying to douse the fire to save him," he added.

"Later, they were rushed to the hospital by their neighbours." 

Rajib's cousin Topu Bhattacharjee said the couple had a love marriage six years ago. 

They have a five-year-old daughter who was staying at her grandfather's house in Comilla during the fire incident.

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