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KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

A&M Apartment Fire Anniversary

By: Mike Rockwood
By: Mike Rockwood

Sunday marked the anniversary of the Texas A&M apartment fire that killed two, and injured several others. One year later, the incident is still fresh on the minds of Aggies.

Last July a gas explosion consumed the apartment of graduate student Saquib Ejaz and eventually claimed the lives of his mother Rabeya Chaudhury and his 4 year old daughter Lamiya Zahin. Ejaz's father and pregnant wife also sustained multiple injuries during the explosion which was caused by leaking natural gas that entered the building through the apartment's ventilation system.

Since the incident A&M has overhauled its staff and implemented several new administrative procedures to try and prevent another accident from happening again.

Jinkai Wang lives just a few doors down from where the explosion took place, but he says that he is happy with A&M's recent measures.

"I felt very surprised at first when the accident happened, but the university has taken some action to make the students here feel much safer," says Wang.

The university's improvements include the installation of new gas lines and gas detectors in the apartments, the installation of new stoves, a safety hotline and a maintenance staff that's on call 24 hours a day.

"Right after the accident many A&M employees worked very hard to check all the gas pipes. After they checked I feel more safe, I think at least now for several years it will be safer here," says A&M student, Bo Li.

Zahir Latheef was influential in several relief efforts for Saquib Ejaz after the accident. Latheef says that it is his hope people will continue to remember those involved in last year's explosion.

"It didn't have to happen, a whole family was struck by this tragedy and as this event passes it's important not to revert back to the situation of neglect and I hope that we continue to keep that in mind," says Latheef.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday night from 8:30 to 10:00 at Texas A&M's University Apartments Community Center for those involved in last years explosion.


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