A minimum of 70 folks had been killed when hearth tore by way of crumbling condominium blocks in a historic a part of Dhaka, setting off a sequence of explosions and a wall of flames down close by streets, officers stated Thursday.
It began in a single constructing the place chemical substances for deodorants and different family makes use of had been illegally saved and unfold at lightning velocity to 4 close by buildings, the hearth service stated.
Folks grew to become trapped by the flames at a close-by bridal social gathering and a restaurant. TV pictures confirmed the gates to 1 constructing had been chained up so residents had been unable to flee.
Visitors jams within the clogged slim streets held up the rescue operation.
Bangladesh hearth chief Ali Ahmed stated at the least 70 folks had been killed however that the toll would possible rise.
“The variety of our bodies might improve. The search remains to be occurring,” he informed AFP.
Medical doctors stated at the least 10 of the scores of injured had been in crucial situation.
Firefighters who took nearly 12 hours to deliver the hearth beneath management, went by way of the blackened flooring of the constructing, affected by spray cans, on the lookout for our bodies.
The hearth began at about 10.40pm (1640 GMT) on Wednesday at Chawkbazar within the previous Mughal a part of the capital.
Ahmed stated it might have been began by a gasoline cylinder and rapidly unfold by way of the constructing the place chemical substances had been saved in rooms alongside the residences.
Chemical substances used for family merchandise had been additionally saved within the close by buildings. They exploded as the hearth unfold, witnesses stated.
“There was a visitors jam when the hearth broke out. It unfold so rapidly that folks couldn’t escape,” the hearth chief stated.
One other hearth official informed reporters the blaze was beneath management however was not extinguished regardless of the efforts of greater than 200 firefighters.
“It’s going to take time. This isn’t like another hearth,” he stated, including that the inferno had been made extra devastating by the “extremely flamable” chemical substances.
Fireplace vehicles had struggled within the slim streets to achieve the scene and there was additionally an absence of water for the battle, officers stated.
The primary gate of 1 5 storey constructing was chained up, trapping residents inside, in accordance with pictures proven on Bangladesh tv.
‘Flames had been in every single place’
Members of a bridal social gathering in a close-by group centre had been additionally caught within the hearth and lots of had been injured. Others had been caught in small eating places.
Dhaka deputy police commissioner Ibrahim Khan stated at the least two automobiles and 10 cycle rickshaws had been burned within the hearth.
“The victims included passersby, some individuals who had been consuming meals at a eating places and a few members of the bridal social gathering,” he informed AFP.
“I noticed the charred physique of a lady who was holding her daughter in her lap as their rickshaw was caught within the hearth,” stated one witness.
Haji Abdul Kader, whose store was destroyed, stated he solely survived the blaze as as he had left to go to a pharmacy.
“Once I was on the pharmacy, I heard an enormous bang. I turned again and noticed the entire avenue, which was jam filled with automobiles and rickshaws, in flames. Flames had been in every single place,” he informed AFP.
“I obtained burned and rushed to hospital,” he stated.
Medical doctors at Dhaka Medical School Hospital stated at the least 55 folks had been injured, together with 10 in a crucial situation.
Lots of of individuals rushed to the hospital on the lookout for lacking kin.
Nonetheless, a lot of the our bodies of the useless had been charred past recognition.
Sohag Hossain, one of many injured, informed the Every day Star that he and two pals had been working at a plastic manufacturing facility in one of many buildings on the time of the hearth.
They heard an explosion and couldn’t escape the flames.
An analogous blaze in 2010 in an previous Dhaka constructing, which was additionally used as a chemical warehouse, killed greater than 120 folks in one of many worst hearth disasters within the metropolis of 20 million folks.
Dhaka authorities launched a crackdown on chemical warehouses in residential areas following the blaze, however efforts to rein within the follow have waned.
Many buildings in Bangladesh lack ample hearth security measures and the enforcement of fireside laws in factories and condominium buildings is lax.