A devastating fire raced through densely packed buildings in an old part of Bangladesh’s capital and killed at least 70 people, officials and witnesses said on Thursday.
The fire in Dhaka was mostly under control after more than nine hours of frantic efforts by firefighters. Some of the about 50 people injured were critically burned.
The Chawkbazar area is crammed with buildings separated by narrow alleys. The neighbourhood is a mix of residential and commercial, with buildings that commonly have shops, restaurants or warehouses on the ground floors.
The blaze started late on Wednesday night in one building but quickly spread to others, fire department Director General Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmed said.
The death toll rose to 70, with many of the victims trapped inside the buildings, said Mahfuz Riben, a control room official of the Fire Service and Civil Defence in Dhaka.