The death toll has reached 26 from last Thursday’s high-rise fire in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka. Many of the deaths occurred from workers leaping to their death from the 22-floor building or trapped inside the building. Dhaka police chief Asaduzzaman Mia told reporters at least 73 people were injured and being treated in hospitals across Dhaka.
Some workers slid down a television cable on the side of the building. Others grabbed ropes lowered by emergency service helicopters which pulled them out of the blaze. Helicopters were deployed to drop water on the blaze as scores of firefighters backed by navy and air force specialists struggled to bring it under control.
A top fire official said the flames had been stopped from spreading to adjoining buildings.
“Teams have entered the building and they are scouring the floors for any remaining victims. The building did not have firefighting equipment,” said Lieutenant Colonel Julfikar Rahman of the Dhaka fire service told reporters.
Police in Bangladesh said they had detained two men, S.M.H.I. Faruque and Tasvir Ul Islam — who is district leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) — in the capital, after filing charges against them for criminal negligence. The arrests came as a senior minister called the fire an act of murder amid growing public demand for better building safety standards.
The city’s housing authority later said five upper floors in the building were illegally added without official permission.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Image for illustration.