Dhaka apartment fire toll climbs to 80

Feb 22, 2019

DHAKA: The toll in the massive fire that spread through centuries old apartment buildings and streets in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka late on Thursday night has reached 80. Sixty-seven bodies have been recovered and around 50 injured are in hospitals.

The devastating blaze started around 11 pm on Wednesday at a five-storey building in Chawkbazar, in the old part of Dhaka. It was brought under control by 200 firefighters 12 hours later on Thursday.

Several buildings in the area were reportedly used as chemical warehouses. The warehouses were also storing plastic granules and sprays. There is little enforcement of rule in an impoverished Bangladesh, it is said.

There were seen lots of burnt perfume cans scattered around on the ground after the fire.

Eyewitnesses said there was a traffic jam in the congested streets following the fire and people were trapped. That also prevented firefighting operations. They also heard a massive explosion in the area.

Many buildings in the city are said to be unsafe. They are dangerously used both for residential and commercial purposes.

The Ministry of Industries formed a panel to investigate the cause of the fire. The Ministry of Labour and Employment has announced compensation of 100,000 taka ($1,191) for the families of those killed. It will also provide 50,000 taka ($596) to the injured.

In 2010, a similar fire under similar circumstances had claimed 120 lives. in an old Those buildings also were used as chemical warehouses.

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