At least 69 people have died in a huge blaze that tore through apartment buildings also used as chemical warehouses in an old part of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, fire officials said on Thursday.
The fire broke out at a chemical warehouse on the ground floor of a four-storey building named Hazi Wahed Mansion behind a Mosque in Old Dhaka's Chawkbazar area and the flames then quickly spread through four other buildings nearby, including a community center, fire officials said.
Fire official told reporters the blaze, which began around 10.40 pm (16:40 GMT) on Wednesday, has been "confined" but not yet extinguished despite the efforts of more than 200 firefighters.
“It will take time. This is not like any other fire,” he said, adding the inferno became so devastating due to the "highly combustible" chemicals stored there.
“Most of the bodies were retrieved from the houses around that building while firefighters now prepare to enter into the five-storey building, the main spot in search of more bodies,” a police official at the scene said.