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Bangladesh: 70 killed after fire breaks out at chemical warehouse in old Dhaka

Witnesses said blasts of gas cylinders used for cooking rocked the neighbourhood as panic gripped people fled their homes while several damaged vehicles were seen on the street beside the building.

Agencies Agencies
Dhaka Updated on: February 21, 2019 10:57 IST
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Image Source : AP

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Death toll in Bangladesh fire has touched the figure of 70 on Thursday morning, said reports.

The death toll rose to 69, with many of the victims trapped inside the buildings, said Mahfuz Riben, a control room official of the Fire Service and Civil Defense in Dhaka, earlier.

“Our teams are working there but many of the recovered bodies are beyond recognition. Our people are using body bags to send them to the hospital morgue, this is a very difficult situation,” he told AP over phone.

Dozens of people were injured while hundreds fled their homes, or were evacuated, as a fire broke out at a chemical warehouse in the crammed old Dhaka, officials and reports said.

Residents in the neighbourhood said the fire broke out at a chemical store of a four-storey building in Old Dhaka's Chak Bazar area and quickly spread to four adjacent buildings.

"We have so far rescued over a dozen of wounded people and taken them to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital's (DMCH) burn unit," a fire service official told a TV channel.

Several reports suggested over 50 people were wounded in the fire, some of them critically, but no death was reported, even as fire fighters struggle to douse the blaze.

Doctors at the DMCH burn unit said at least five of the injured were being treated for critical injuries as more affected people are being taken to the facility. 

Several people, however, were injured as they jumped off the four-storey building that housed several families.

Fire service officials said 32 fire fighting units were moved to the scene but narrow lanes made it difficult for fire engines to reach the spot forcing "our men to use long hose pipes to put off the blaze".

Witnesses said blasts of gas cylinders used for cooking rocked the neighbourhood as panic gripped people fled their homes while several damaged vehicles were seen on the street beside the building.

Fire officials said the second, third and fourth floors of the building are used as warehouses and there are some flats.

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