Dhaka / At least 70 people died and dozens of others were injured in a massive fire during the early hours of Thursday in Old Dhaka, which spread through several houses after starting in a building in the Chawkbazar area.
“At least 70 people have died in the incident,” the Bangladesh capital’s fire service spokesman Kamrul Hasan told EFE about the incident that destroyed parts of the Chawkbazar neighborhood.
Many people, including women and children, suffered injuries of varying severity and were transferred to hospitals in the Bangladeshi capital.
Out of the 55 taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, 18 were admitted to the burns unit and 37 to the emergency department. The hospital also received the bodies of 67 people, a spokesman for its control center, Bacch Mia, told EFE.
Partha Sankar Paul, resident surgeon at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said out of 18 patients admitted to the burns unit, nine were in critical condition.
“They have 10 to 60 percent burns on their bodies. None of them are out of danger,” Paul said at the hospital.
“We released two after giving first aid. Seven others, who jumped off the building, had been transferred to the other unit of the hospital,” he said.
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society field officer Mahbbul Haque told EFE at the site of the incident that so far 25 people, including two women and two children, had been reported missing by their relatives.
The fire started at 22.45pm local time (1645 GMT) on Wednesday night in a five-storey building known as Haji Wahed Mansion, which began to collapse after burning for several hours. The fire spread to nearby buildings.
Nurul Islam, who lives nearby, said the building had a plastic granule shop on the ground floor, and a warehouse of perfume bottles on the first and part of the second floor, while the other floors were residential apartments.
Firefighter Abdul Aziz told reporters they found 24 bodies in one end of the building and seven bodies in a medicine shop across the road.
“In the medicine shop they took the shutter down once the fire started, but could not come out,” he said.
Sheikh Mahmood, one of the injured admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said he had gone to the shop with his friend Faisal to buy medicine.
“We [saw] an explosion suddenly, and fireballs started hitting us. We ran away from the shop. I don’t know how I came here and what happened to my friend,” said Mahmood.
Many of the casualties were bystanders.
Mohammad Selim, a mirror factory worker in Old Dhaka, said he was walking home through the narrow street when the incident occurred.
“When I was crossing the street before this building I heard the sound of many explosions. Some fireballs hit me on my back. I saw fire engulf the body of a woman and a girl and their rickshaw puller,” he said.
The fire was brought under control around 8am, fire service officials said.
“Our operation is in the closing stages. We are now conducting a detailed search, trying to neutralize any spot fires,” Shakil Newaz, director of operations of the Fire Service and Civil Defense, told reporters at the scene.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told EFE a probe is underway.
“We have already ordered an investigation. Hopefully you will see the result soon,” he said.
The damaged area is near Nimtoli, also in the capital’s old town, where in 2010, 124 people were killed by a fire that started in a chemical factory.
The Greater Dhaka area has a population of over 18 million people and the Old City of Dhaka is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with over 23,000 people living per square kilometer. (February 21, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)
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Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions.)
hubo un incendio a las afueras de Bangladesh.
hubo un incendio en una ciudad cercana a Dacca.
hubo un incendio en la capital de Bangladesh.
No se sabe.
a primera hora de la mañana.
por la noche.
no se originó en un almacén.
ha afectado a edificios cercanos.
no ha afectado a otros edificios de la zona.
No se sabe.
no hace falta realizar una investigación.
ordenó que se haga una investigación.
pedirá que se haga una investigación.
una zona situada a las afueras de la ciudad.
el centro histórico de una ciudad.
un objeto para protegerse la cabeza.
una oficina de policía.
tiene heridas leves.
está muy grave.
no tiene heridas.