Dhaka: With the death of 19 more people, the toll from the deadly fire at a high-rise office building here in the Bangladesh capital, rose to 25, fire officials said Friday.
A massive fire engulfed a 22-storey building in the posh Banani area here, Thursday, in the second major blaze to hit the capital since last month. The incident, in the building that houses several garment shops and internet service providers, left several people trapped inside as the blaze spread to two adjacent buildings.
Nineteen bodies were recovered from inside the building through Thursday night and early Friday morning. Seventy six people have also been injured and have been shifted to various hospitals here. The condition of 22 is stated to be very critical. Some of the people who have suffered over 60 per cent burns are being treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s burn unit.
Fire Service Duty Officer Mizanur Rahman claimed the fire was brought under control at around 4:45pm, Thursday. Hundreds of people have been rescued from the building.
Fire Service Deputy Director Dilip Kumar Ghosh said that several people had panicked and leapt from the building, which led to the increased casualties. At least six of the killed, including a Sri Lankan national, died after they jumped off from various floors of the high-rise building for safety.
The building had narrow staircases, and lacked firefighting capacity. It is also of note that the building reportedly caught fire over a decade ago in 2008, Ghosh informed.
Fire officials said the blaze erupted on the eighth floor of the building and gradually went upward engulfing ninth, 10th and 11th floors, but could not immediately say what sparked the inferno.
Five military and air force helicopters were deployed to drop water on the blaze as flames and thick black smoke poured out of the windows.
It should be mentioned here that February 20, at least 70 people were killed and over 50 injured when a fast-moving fire swept through an apartment buildings and chemical warehouses in the congested Chawkbazar area.
In 2012, a fire at a nine-storey garment factory near the capital city killed 111 workers.