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70 killed as massive fire breaks out in chemical warehouses in Dhaka

On Wednesday at least 70 people were killed as a massive fire night ripped through several multi-storey buildings many of them housing chemical and plastic warehouses in a cramped old part of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

According to the official the fire broke out at a chemical warehouse on the ground floor of a five-storey building named Hazi Wahed Mansion behind a mosque in Old Dhaka’s congested Chawkbazar area and the flames then quickly spread through four other buildings nearby, including a community centre where a wedding party was on.

At least  70 people were killed in the massive blaze said the fire official.

The official also added that the death toll rose further as dozens of people were trapped in the buildings and the firefighters were yet to enter into the main spot where the fire broke out.

The police officer who was present in the spot said that “Most of the bodies were retrieved from the houses around that building while firefighters now prepare to enter into the five-storey building, the main spot in search of more bodies.” 

Dhaka
Dhaka | International News

After the fire in building the official earlier said that 37 firefighting units were moved to the scene but narrow lanes made it difficult for fire engines to reach the spot forcing the firefighters 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, had killed more than 120 people in one of the worst fire tragedies in Bangladesh.

It had sparked a public outcry, demanding the relocation of chemical warehouses and stores from the area, but little has been done in the last nine years

Many buildings in Bangladesh lack adequate fire safety measures and the enforcement of fire regulations in factories and apartment buildings is lax said the official.

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