South Asia and Beyond

Fire In A Commercial Complex In Bangladesh Kills At Least 43

 Fire In A Commercial Complex In Bangladesh Kills At Least 43

At least 43 people were killed in a major fire today that broke out on Thursday night in a multi-storey building in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The fire broke out in a restaurant in a seven storey building, which contained clothing and mobile shops. Officials said that the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, but many believe that it could have been originated from a gas leak or stove.

Bangladesh’s health minister Samanta Lal Sen, said that at least 75 people were rescued and dozens were brought to hospital. He added that at least 10 people died at the city’s main burns hospital, while 22 were in critical condition, the BBC reported.

“It was a dangerous building with gas cylinders on every floor, even on the staircases. We were on the sixth floor when we first saw smoke racing through the staircase,” Brigadier General Main Uddin, head of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence told AFP.

Officials said that most of the deaths have been caused by people jumping off the building.

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Mohammad Altaf, a survivor, told Reuters that he escaped the blaze through a broken window. He added that two of his colleagues, who helped others to escape, could not come out of the building alive.

Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has over the years recorded a major boom in construction. New buildings mostly housing garment factories have come up with little or no safety measures raising major concerns on the working conditions of workers and staff.

Most of the fires and explosions have occurred due to faulty electric connections.

In 2021, an eight-story garment factory collapsed in Dhaka killing over 1,100 people. In the same year, over 54 people were killed at a food processing factory outside the capital.

In 2019, a fire that engulfed a centuries-old area of Dhaka killed at least 70 people.