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  1. #1
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    Bangladeshi housing-block fire kills dozens

    Bangladeshi housing-block fire kills dozens


    A fire in a densely populated part of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka has killed more than 100 people.

    It began after an electrical transformer exploded, engulfing housing blocks and shops in flames.

    Firefighters say they have now got the blaze under control, in the old district of Nimtoli.

    Although fires are common in Dhaka, analysts say this is the largest and most deadly for many years.

    Nimtoli district is crammed with buildings and roads are narrow, making access for the emergency services difficult.

    The BBC's Mark Dummett in Dhaka says the city is one of the most densely populated cities in the world - and Nimtoli is its most crowded district.

    He says many people live in badly constructed multi-storey buildings with no fire escapes or safety equipment.

    Continue reading the main story

    In pictures: Dhaka inferno

    Fire department chief Abu Nayeem said the fire had engulfed at least seven buildings.

    "There were shops selling chemicals on the ground floor, which were caught by the fire as it spread very quickly," he told AFP news agency.

    "The temperature and fumes became unbearable because of the chemicals.

    "We struggled to get inside due to the narrow stairways of the very old buildings."

    A large wedding party was under way on the roof of one of the buildings at the time of the fire.

    "The bride was spared from the fire as she had been at the local beauty salon," an eyewitness told AFP.

    Rahima Begum, a resident of one of the buildings affected, said she had been having dinner when the fire started.

    "Suddenly I heard a huge bang and found the flames spread to two to three nearby buildings," she was quoted as saying by Bangladesh's Daily Star.

    Smoke inhalation Imrul Hasan, a doctor at the burns unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), told the BBC that he had personally counted 45 bodies laid out on a road near the site of the fire, just 200m from the hospital.



    Most of the dead had minimal burns and the cause of death for most appeared to have been smoke inhalation, he said.

    "The number [of dead] is rising every moment," he said.

    Dr Hasan said the burns unit at DMCH had already been overcrowded with patients before the blaze.

    TV footage showed firefighters and residents carrying injured people by tricycle rickshaws to hospitals.

    Reuters news agency reported that sobbing relatives were at the hospital looking for loved ones.


  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    Bangladesh Fire kills over 100


  3. #3
    I am in Jail
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    04-07-2010 @ 03:03 AM
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    Really tragic, wonder what caused the transformer to blow so catastrophly.

  4. #4
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Probably about 1,000 years old and for certain horribly overloaded. I used to work very close to Nimtoli, in the Motijeel commercial area. The Nimtoli area even back then (79-81) was a rabbit warren of tiny alleys and old wooden buildings, much like the slums of London or New York centuries ago. It is a miracle that no more than 100 plus died.

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