Bangladesh fire kills 70, injures 50 in capital Dhaka

Bangladesh fire kills 70, injures 50 in capital Dhaka

Kerry Wise
February 22, 2019

A almost identical incident of 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 Bangladesh. Proceedings have dragged on, however, and prosecutors say a verdict could take five more years. Hundreds of people rushed to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital to search for missing relatives, witnesses said. Chemicals stored on the ground floor of the Tongi warehouse are thought to have helped the blaze spread quickly.

An unidentified Bangladeshi man cries by the site of a fire that broke out late Wednesday in closely set buildings in the capital.

Atleast 70 people were killed after a massive fire broke out in Chawkbazar's Churihatta area of Old Dhaka early on Thursday morning, Dhaka Metropolitan Police confirmed.

Firefighters try to douse flames after the devastating fire that raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital.

Locals and firefighters gather around buildings that caught fire late Wednesday in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Thursday, killing dozens of people.

Dhaka authorities launched a crackdown on chemical warehouses in residential areas following the blaze, but efforts to rein in the practice have waned.

The centuries-old Chawkbazar area of Dhaka characteristically has very narrow streets and residential buildings only inches apart. "They are not really abiding by the government's rules".

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Officials in the capital city of Dhaka believe the fire started when a gas cylinder exploded in the warehouse, where perfumes and plastics are stored.

"After the Nimtoli tragedy we urged our local leaders not to allow any more godowns that are a danger for us", he added, referring to a 2010 fire that killed at least 124.

Some reports suggested numerous fatalities were pedestrians, shoppers or diners who died quickly as several gas cylinders exploded, and the fire engulfed nearby buildings very quickly.

A relative of victims who were killed in a fire mourns. Less than six months later, another building housing garment factories collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.

Doctors said at least 10 of the scores of injured were in critical condition.

Firefighters said several chemical warehouses in the neighbourhood had been engulfed and ignited by the blaze.