In a devasting fire mishap that broke out in an apartment building, also used as a chemical warehouse in an old part of the Bangladeshi capital, at least 70 people were killed, last night
According to fire officials, the blaze might have originated from a gas cylinder, with the fire quickly spreading through the building where highly flammable chemicals were stored. The incident took place at Chawkbazar in the old part of Dhaka around 10:40 pm.
The flames engulfed four adjoining buildings, which were also used as chemical warehouses, including for storing plastic granules and body sprays. Officials said that people unable to escape due to traffic jam when the fire broke out. The inferno became so devastating due to the “highly combustible” chemicals stored there.
The death toll in the fire could rise, warned the fire officials, who have been working throughout the night to douse the devastating fire. 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.
Many people were injured after they jumped off the building that housed several families. The officials earlier said 37 firefighting units were moved to the scene but narrow lanes made it difficult for fire engines to reach the spot forcing the fire fighters to use long hose pipes to set off the blaze.
A nearly 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.