Bangladesh fire: At least 43 dead in Dhaka building blaze

At least 43 people have been killed after a fire broke out in a multi-storey building in Bangladesh, the country’s health minister says, BBC reported.

According to local media, the blaze began in a restaurant at around 22:00 local time (16:00 GMT) on Thursday in the capital, Dhaka.

Seventy-five people were rescued and dozens were brought to hospital.

The fire was bought under control after two hours, according to fire officials, and the cause is being investigated.

Bangladesh’s Health Minister, Samanta Lal Sen, said that at least 33 people, including women and children, had been declared dead at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

At least 10 others died at the city’s main burns hospital. Twenty-two were in critical condition, Mr Sen said.

The emergency services were called to the Kacchi Bhai restaurant which, according to the Daily Bangladesh newspaper, is in a building that has seven floors, according to BBC.

The complex that the building is in also contains other restaurants, as well as several clothing and mobile phone shops.

The fire could have originated from a gas leak or stove, said the head of the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, Brigadier General Main Uddin, according to AFP news agency.

“It was a dangerous building with gas cylinders on every floor, even on the staircases,” Brig Gen Uddin told reporters.

“We were at the sixth floor when we first saw smoke racing through the staircase,” said a restaurant manager called Sohel, according to AFP.

“A lot of people rushed upstairs. We used a water pipe to climb down the building.

“Some of us were injured as they jumped from upstairs.”

Another survivor, Mohammad Altaf, told Reuters that he narrowly escaped the blaze through a broken window.

He said two of his colleagues, who had helped to get people out, both later died.

Fires in commercial and residential buildings are common in Bangladesh. They are often blamed on poor safety awareness and an inadequate enforcement of regulations.

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