Tragedy Strikes: Bangladesh Building Fire Claims 43 Lives
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Image: Firefighters battle a blaze that killed more than 40 people in a seven-store building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reuters

By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

Late Thursday, a devastating fire engulfed a seven-store building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, leaving at least 43 people dead and dozens injured. The incident occurred in an upscale neighborhood, shaking the capital as emergency services rushed to the scene.

Health Minister Samanta Lal Sen confirmed the death toll and stated that at least 40 injured individuals were receiving treatment in the city’s main burns hospital. The fire, originating in a popular biriyani restaurant on Bailey Road at 9:50 pm, quickly spread through the upper floors, trapping numerous people.

Fire department official Mohammad Shihab reported that firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control within two hours. They successfully rescued 75 individuals, according to a statement from the fire service. The Bailey Road building primarily housed restaurants, clothing stores, and mobile phone shops.

Sohel, a restaurant manager who witnessed the chaos, described the harrowing experience: “We were at the sixth floor when we first saw smoke racing through the staircase. 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.”

Some occupants found themselves stranded on the rooftop, calling for help. Kamruzzaman Majumdar, a professor of environmental science, shared his relief in a Facebook post after being rescued: “Alhamdulillah. We are sending down all women and children, including my wife and children. We all men are on the rooftop. Fire service stands beside us. Fifty yet to be down.”

Unfortunately, fires in buildings, particularly apartments and factories, are not uncommon in Bangladesh, often attributed to lax enforcement of safety regulations. This incident recalls the tragedy of July 2021, where 52 people, many of them children, lost their lives in a food-processing factory fire. In February 2019, a blaze swept through Dhaka apartment blocks, claiming the lives of 70 individuals.

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