Fire in Bangladesh Kills 45 and Leaves Many Others Injured

( – A fire in a commercial building in Bangladesh has left 45 people dead and dozens more injured.

The blaze, which occurred in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, hit Green Cozy Cottage Shopping Mall, a six-story shopping mall that housed a number of dining establishments, many of them filled with families who were enjoying a day out. The fire reportedly began at a biryani restaurant on the ground floor, with the inferno quickly engulfing the whole building in matter of minutes. Firefighters who responded to the incident had to battle with the flames for two hours before the fire was put out.

Authorities are speculating that the fire most likely started from a stove or a gas leak. One of the country’s top fire officials, Brigadier General Main Uddin, told news outlets that the conditions in the Green Cozy Cottage Shopping Mall were dangerous, as it was reportedly filled “with gas cylinders on every floor, even on the stairs.” The incident is still under investigation – which is being conducted by a five-member panel established by the Bangladeshi government.

According to the country’s health ministry, a large number of the victims died from suffocation, while others died after jumping off the building. One of the survivors, Mohammad Altaf, who was among those who jumped out of one of the building’s windows, recounted that some of the victims were people who helped others escape the fire first – themselves falling victim to the fumes and the flames later on.

Dozens more are in critical condition and are being treated for burn wounds and other injuries at a state-run hospital.

Fires are a common occurrence in the Bangladeshi capital, as many buildings in the densely populated city skimp on enacting safety measures. Faulty electrical wiring, air conditioning units in disrepair, and defective gas cylinders are among some of the most common causes of fire in the city. Just three years ago, a food processing factory just outside the city caught fire, killing 54 people, many of them children. Another major blaze in February 2019 engulfed one of Dhaka’s historic precincts, taking the lives of at least 70 people.

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