Dozens killed by fire in Bangladesh capital Dhaka

A view of a scene of a fire that broke out at a chemical warehouse in Dhaka Bangladesh.- Reuters

A view of a scene of a fire that broke out at a chemical warehouse in Dhaka Bangladesh.- Reuters

The flame spread across the buildings on the street and as there was a huge traffic jam, people died on the street as they could not escape from the scene, ' said Mohammad Nabiullah, another resident.

The fire reportedly broke out around 10:30 p.m. local time (16:30 GMT) on Wednesday and subsequently tore through four other buildings, trapping dozens of people inside. "This is not like any other fire", he said, adding the inferno became so devastating due to the "highly combustible" chemicals stored there.

Many victims were trapped in buildings, one fire official told the AP.

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

At least 112 workers were killed in a fire at the nine-story Tazreen Fashion factory in the outskirts of Dhaka on November 24, 2012.

"The victims included passersby, some people who were eating food at a restaurants and some members of the bridal party", he said. One helicopter was also seen hovering over the area.

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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. Hundreds of distraught relatives thronged the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital to seek missing relatives, witnesses said.

"I saw with my own eyes that a sudden massive bang with fire and shockwaves totally destroyed the roadside wall. Flames were everywhere. I got burned and rushed to hospital". "I said 'Oh, Allah, ' in a fraction of a second the fire caught my shop".

Some of the warehouses consumed by the flames stored unsafe products, including highly combustible chemicals, body sprays and plastic granules, all of which exacerbated the fire, The Guardian reported. The exact order of events remains unclear, but a chain reaction of explosions spread flames to nearby residential and commercial properties, where flammable products were being kept. They exploded as the fire spread, witnesses said.

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

Today, Chawkbazar is a hub of businesses making and storing chemicals, perfume and plastic products, many ignoring a ban on the storage of chemical goods in residential buildings.

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