Sixty nine people died in an apartment blaze in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka. The apartment building was used as warehouse to store chemicals.
Dozens of people couldn’t escape the buildings, narrow streets clogged with traffic wouldn’t let emergency services on time, highly combustible plastics and body sprays worsened the situation.
Bangladesh’s fire service chief Ali Ahmed expects the death toll could rise even further from the current 69. The chief stressed that the blaze may have started with a gas cylinder explosion, quickly spreading through neighbouring buildings.
The main gates were locked, leaving residents trapped unable to escape the fire.
The fire started at 10:40 pm local time, and 200 firefighters were still making desperate attempts to put down the fire.
Bridal party in the neighbourhood, restaurants, cars and rickshaws too caught fire. Firefighters were seen climbing ladders to spray water on one of the building. Helicopters were also seen hovering up in the skies.
Dhaka Medical College Hospital received 45 injured patients.
A similar chemical warehouse fire in 2010 at Dhaka killed more than 120 people.