Dozens Dead After Fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The flames raced through four adjoining buildings which were also used as chemical warehouses
The flames raced through four adjoining buildings which were also used as chemical warehouses
Author

22 February, 2019

The blaze began at an apartment building which was partly used to store chemicals.

Numerous victims were trapped inside the buildings, Mahfuz Riben, a control room official of the Fire Service and Civil Defence in Dhaka, said.

Fire officials said the road closures worsened traffic, slowing down some of the fire trucks rushing to the site.

The inferno consumed four neighbouring warehouses which stored body sprays and plastic granules. Hundreds of distraught relatives thronged the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital to seek missing relatives, witnesses said.

A local fire official says that numerous bodies found in the neighborhood, which is known for its buildings crammed right next to each other on narrow streets, "are beyond recognition".

"So far, 69 bodies have been recovered". "Our people are using body bags to send them to the hospital morgue".

At least 70 people have died in a fire in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, with the toll expected to rise as fire fighters comb the wreckage of the destroyed building.

Shikder said there was "no more confusion" about the tally.

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Another fire official told reporters the blaze was under control but was not extinguished despite the efforts of more than 200 firefighters.

A government eviction drive in Chawkbazar and other areas of Old Dhaka was met with protests last May right before Eid, the beginning of Ramadan, by business owners and residents.

Such tragedies are common in Bangladesh, where fires, floods, ferry sinkings and other disasters regularly claim dozens of lives or more.

Numerous factory workers had left the building for lunch at the time, but witnesses described seeing dozens of trapped workers jumping from the 10th floor of the building to escape.

A fast-moving fire killed at least 78 when it swept through a historic district of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka.

Over 50 wounded people were being treated at Dhaka's two major state-run facilities - Dhaka Medical College Hospital's burn unit and Sir Salimullah Medical College.

He said doctors stated condition of an injured as very critical.

The officials earlier said 37 fire fighting units were moved to the scene but narrow lanes made it hard for fire engines to reach the spot forcing the fire fighters to use long hose pipes to set off the blaze.


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