Over 50 people killed in deadly blaze in Dhaka

2019-02-21 at 08:23

Dozens of people have been killed after a massive fire broke out in apartment buildings also used as chemical warehouses in a centuries-old part of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

Fire service chief Ali Ahmed told AFP news agency “So far we have recovered 45 bodies. The number of bodies may increase. The search is still going on”.

The death toll was expected to rise.

About 50 people were injured and the blaze, which began around 16:40 GMT on Wednesday at Chawkbazar in the old part of Dhaka, was not yet entirely under control.

Ahmed said the fire might have originated from a gas cylinder before quickly spreading through the building where highly flammable chemicals were stored.

The flames raced through four adjoining buildings, which were also used as chemical warehouses, including for storing plastic granules and body sprays.

Describing a part of town where the streets are very narrow he said there was a traffic jam when the fire broke out, so people could not escape.

Another fire official told reporters that the blaze has been “confined” but not yet doused despite the efforts of more than 200 firefighters.

A police inspector at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital said at least 45 people were injured, including four people whose conditions were very critical.

A similar fire in 2010 in an old Dhaka building, which was also used as a chemical warehouse, killed more than 120 people in one of the worst fire tragedies in Dhaka.