17 die as high-rise office building catches fire

Bangladesh fire: Huge blaze hits Banani building in Dhaka

Mr Faruk, who suffered 90 per cent burns in the fire, died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) around 4.20pm, Dr Samanta Lal Sen, chief coordinator of National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery of the DMCH, told The Daily Star.

Desperate workers leaped to their deaths as a huge fire tore through a Dhaka office block Thursday, killing at least 19 people and trapping others in the latest major inferno to hit the Bangladesh capital.

Several people have already been rescued from the burning building, officials said.

According to media reports, the fire broke out around 1:00pm. "Seventy others are wounded", a senior fire official told PTI.

The building with the holding no. 32 houses offices of a number of garment buying houses and internet service providers.

At least six people died after jumping from the 22-storey building, officials said. "Now, we can't reach her through phone", she said.

Fire crews at the scene, backed by members of the navy and air force, say the blaze has been brought under control. "More than a dozen fire tenders are at the spot".

Some shouted for help from windows on upper floors and the roof, while footage shows some scrambling out windows to escape the blaze. More than one hour after the blaze erupted people could still be seen on the 13th and 14th floors desperately waving for help amid clouds of black smoke.

"A Sri Lankan citizen identified as Niras Chandra, was declared dead at Kurmitola General Hospital".

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Some people were trapped inside the building when it caught fire.

Fire fighters bring down people using a ladder.

"Over 30 people are being treated at different government and private health facilities, some of them with critical wounds caused by the blaze in the building", officials said.

Last month, a massive fire killed 71 people in an old neighbourhood of the congested city. "Dumping work will also continue", SM Zulfiqar Rahman, a fire service director, told the media in the afternoon.

Thick smoke developed when the furniture, including sofa, in the offices on the floors were burnt making the efforts to douse the fire hard, Bardhan said.

Experts said inspections on buildings in the city frequently found fire exit stairs blocked with stored goods and exit doors locked.

Large fires are relatively common in Bangladesh, owing to lax safety regulations and poor building conditions.

There have been reports that several people have been critically injured after jumping from the building.

In November 2012, a fire swept through a nine-story garment factory near Dhaka killing 111 workers.

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