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70 Killed as Massive Fire Engulfs Chemical Factory in Bangladesh

World | Associated Press | February 21, 2019, 10:42 am
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 A devastating fire raced through densely packed buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed at least 70 people, officials and witnesses said. (Image: AP)

A devastating fire raced through densely packed buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed at least 70 people, officials and witnesses said. (Image: AP)

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 The fire in Dhaka was mostly under control after more than nine hours of frantic efforts by firefighters. Some of the about 50 people injured were critically burned. (Image: AP)

The fire in Dhaka was mostly under control after more than nine hours of frantic efforts by firefighters. Some of the about 50 people injured were critically burned. (Image: AP)

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 The Chawkbazar area is crammed with buildings separated by narrow alleys. (Image: AP)

The Chawkbazar area is crammed with buildings separated by narrow alleys. (Image: AP)

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 The neighbourhood is a mix of residential and commercial, with buildings that commonly have shops, restaurants or warehouses on the ground floors. (Image: AP)

The neighbourhood is a mix of residential and commercial, with buildings that commonly have shops, restaurants or warehouses on the ground floors. (Image: AP)

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 The blaze started late Wednesday (February 20) night in one building but quickly spread to others, fire department Director General Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmed said. (Image: AP)

The blaze started late Wednesday (February 20) night in one building but quickly spread to others, fire department Director General Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmed said. (Image: AP)

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 The death toll rose to 70, with many of the victims trapped inside the buildings, said Mahfuz Riben, a control room official of the Fire Service and Civil Defense in Dhaka. (Image: AP)

The death toll rose to 70, with many of the victims trapped inside the buildings, said Mahfuz Riben, a control room official of the Fire Service and Civil Defense in Dhaka. (Image: AP)

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 A local cries by the site of a fire that broke out in closely set buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

A local cries by the site of a fire that broke out in closely set buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 Some floors of the destroyed buildings had chemicals and plastic in storage. (Image: AP)

Some floors of the destroyed buildings had chemicals and plastic in storage. (Image: AP)

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 Most buildings in the neighbourhood are used both for residential and commercial purposes despite warnings of the potential for high fatalities from fires after one had killed at least 123 people in 2010. (Image: AP)

Most buildings in the neighbourhood are used both for residential and commercial purposes despite warnings of the potential for high fatalities from fires after one had killed at least 123 people in 2010. (Image: AP)

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 Authorities had promised to bring the buildings under regulations and remove chemical warehouses from the residential buildings. (Image: AP)

Authorities had promised to bring the buildings under regulations and remove chemical warehouses from the residential buildings. (Image: AP)

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 A local cries by the site of a fire that broke out in closely set buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

A local cries by the site of a fire that broke out in closely set buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 Such tragedies are shockingly common in Bangladesh, where fires, floods, ferry sinkings and other disasters regularly claim dozens of lives or more. (Image: AP)

Such tragedies are shockingly common in Bangladesh, where fires, floods, ferry sinkings and other disasters regularly claim dozens of lives or more. (Image: AP)

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 Some reports suggested many of the dead were pedestrians, shoppers or diners who died quickly as several gas cylinders exploded, and the fire engulfed the nearby buildings very quickly. (Image: AP)

Some reports suggested many of the dead were pedestrians, shoppers or diners who died quickly as several gas cylinders exploded, and the fire engulfed the nearby buildings very quickly. (Image: AP)

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 Firefighters retrieve a body from the site of a fire in closely set buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

Firefighters retrieve a body from the site of a fire in closely set buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 (Image: AP)

(Image: AP)

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 Locals and firefighters gather at the site, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

Locals and firefighters gather at the site, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 Locals help a Bangladeshi firefighter who got unconscious for a while, while trying to douse flames of a smouldering fire in a building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

Locals help a Bangladeshi firefighter who got unconscious for a while, while trying to douse flames of a smouldering fire in a building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 Firefighters try to extinguish flames at buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

Firefighters try to extinguish flames at buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 Firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

Firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 Locals and firefighters douse flames of a smoldering fire in a building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

Locals and firefighters douse flames of a smoldering fire in a building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 Firefighters try to douse flames of a smoldering fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

Firefighters try to douse flames of a smoldering fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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 Locals and firefighters gather around buildings that caught fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

Locals and firefighters gather around buildings that caught fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Image: AP)

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