Bangladesh building blaze leaves dozens dead

Volunteers carry a water pipe as firefighters spray water to douse the fire after a fire that broke out in a multi-storey building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo/Reuters)

At least 43 people have been killed and others injured after a fire blazed through a seven-storey building in an upscale neighbourhood in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, health authorities said.

"So far, 43 people have died from the fire," Bangladesh's Health Minister Samanta Lal Sen told the AFP news agency early on Friday after visiting the Dhaka Medical College Hospital and an adjoining burn hospital.

Twenty-two others are being treated at hospitals with burn wounds, the minister told reporters.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze, which was under control after two hours of frantic efforts by 13 firefighting units, the fire service officials said.

But Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence Director, Brigadier General Main Uddin, said the fire could have originated from a gas leak or stove.

"It was a dangerous building with gas cylinders on every floor, even on the staircases," he told reporters.

Deadly incidents

Intense scrutiny of Bangladesh and the major international clothing retailers that manufacture in the country has helped prevent further disasters in the garment sector since a fire in 2012 and a building collapse in 2013 together killed more than 1,200 workers.

But in other industries, mainly catering to Bangladesh's booming domestic economy and without an equal emphasis on safety, hundreds have died in fires in recent years.

Fires are common in densely populated Dhaka, which has experienced a boom in new buildings, often constructed without proper safety measures. Fires and explosions have occurred due to faulty gas cylinders, air conditioners and bad electrical wiring.

In July 2021, at least 52 people were killed including many children when a fire swept through a food processing factory.

In February 2019, 70 people died when an inferno ripped through several Dhaka apartment blocks.


Source: TRT