Fire in Dhaka kills dozens

Hundreds of firefighters who took nearly 12 hours to bring the fire under control went through the blackened floors of the building, littered with spray cans, looking for bodies. I turned back and saw the whole street, which was jam-packed with cars and rickshaws, in flames.

Officials in Bangladesh say the death toll from a fire in Dhaka is lower than they previously reported.

He said doctors stated condition of an injured as very critical.

Fire fighters fought for more than five hours to bring it under control, although it was still burning early on Thursday.

A devastating fire has raced through densely packed buildings in a centuries-old shopping district in Bangladesh's capital, killing at least 81 people.

"Our teams are working there, but numerous recovered bodies are beyond recognition", he said.

Workers were removing charred vehicles, twisted bits of metal and other debris from Chawkbazar on Friday, while others hosed down the road to clean ashes as investigators inspected the burned buildings to determine what caused the blaze.

Chawkbazar is one of the most important areas in Old Dhaka, a historic district established about 400 years ago during the Mughal dynasty.

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Hundreds of people rushed to the hospital to look for missing relatives.

The fire in the residential building broke out at 10:30pm local time (7:30pm Moscow time), later spreading to four neighboring structures. The blaze spread quickly between the buildings, some of which house chemicals and plastic.

Sohag Hossain, one of the injured, told the Daily Star that he and two of his friends were working at a plastic factory in one of the buildings at the time of the fire.

The area in what is known as Old Dhaka is crammed with apartments, shops and warehouses and firefighters struggled to reach the fire because of the neighborhood's narrow alleyways.

Building safety regulations are rarely followed in impoverished Bangladesh, where accidents kill hundreds every year.

At least 1,130 people died when Dhaka's Rana Plaza nine-storey factory complex collapsed in April 2013 - one of the world's worst industrial tragedies.

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

In the recent past, Dhaka has had spate of fires.

  • Sonia Alvarado