Bangladesh fire: Dhaka plastics warehouse blaze leaves at least 69 dead

Bangladesh fire: Dhaka plastics warehouse blaze leaves at least 69 dead

The fire was fed by paints and other chemicals stored in shops on the building's ground floor, the Times reports.

Fire-fighters try to control fire at Chawkbazar, old part of Dhaka city, Bangladesh on February 21, 2019.

Earlier Julfikar Rahman, a director of the local Fire Service and Civil Defence, commented: "So far 56 bodies have been recovered".

Fire officials said the road closures worsened traffic, slowing down some of the fire trucks rushing to the site.

A Bangladeshi boy cries as he carries the coffin of a relative who died in the fire.

Some reports suggested numerous dead were pedestrians, shoppers or diners who died quickly as several gas cylinders exploded, and the fire engulfed the nearby buildings very quickly.

However, most of the bodies of the dead were charred beyond recognition.

A similar blaze in 2010 in an old Dhaka building, which was also used as a chemical warehouse, killed more than 120 people in one of the worst fire-related disasters in Dhaka.

Locals and firefighters gather around buildings that caught fire late Wednesday in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. "Our people are using body bags to send them to the hospital morgue, this is a very hard situation".

Shikder said there was "no more confusion" about the tally.

About 200 firefighters fought for more than five hours to bring the blaze under control.

Dhaka city authorities launched a crackdown on chemical warehouses in residential areas following the blaze, but efforts to rein in the practice have waned in recent years.

It is not yet clear what started the fire. Crammed with tightly-packed residential and industrial buildings, some just inches apart, the district dates back to the Mughal era more than 300 years ago.

The condition of some of the injured people was "critical", said Samanta Lal Sen, head of a burn unit of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Firefighters said several chemical warehouses in the neighbourhood had been engulfed and ignited by the blaze.

About 50 people, including children, were also injured and admitted to nearby hospitals, Al Jazeera reported.

Numerous factory workers had left the building for lunch at the time, but witnesses described seeing dozens of trapped workers jumping from the 10th floor of the building to escape.

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