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Fire kills dozens in centuries-old Bangladesh district

“Sixty-nine bodies were recovered so far,” Kamrul Hasan, duty officer at the control room of the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, told DPA.

A devastating fire has raced through buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital, causing casualties.

A devastating fire has raced through buildings in an old part of Bangladesh’s capital, causing casualties. Credit:AP

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire at the building in the centuries-old Chawkbazar area of Dhaka.

The Chawkbazar area is crammed with buildings separated by narrow alleys. The district is a mix of residential and commercial, with buildings that commonly have shops, restaurants or warehouses on ground floors.

Some floors of the destroyed buildings had chemicals and plastic in storage.

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

The 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse killed more than 1100 garment workers.

Witnesses told local TV many gas cylinders stored in the buildings continued to explode one after another. They said the fire also set off explosions in fuel tanks of some of the vehicles that got stuck in traffic in front.

Reuters

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