Devastating fire kills at least 69 in Bangladesh capital

Firefighters try to extinguish flames at buildings in Dhaka. (AP/AAP)

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DHAKA, Feb 21, 2019, AFP. A devastating fire raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh’s capital and killed at least 69 people, an official and witnesses have said, reported the 9News.

Dozens of other people were injured and the fire in Dhaka was not yet under control completely.

The Chawkbazar area where the fire was burning is crammed with buildings separated by narrow alleys. The neighborhood is a mix of residential and commercial, with buildings that commonly have shops, restaurants or warehouses on the ground floors.

The blaze started late Wednesday night in one building but quickly spread to others, fire department director general Brigadier General Ali Ahmed said.

Some floors of the destroyed buildings had chemicals and plastic in storage.

Most buildings 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.

Authorities had promised to bring the buildings under regulations and remove chemical warehouses from the residential buildings.

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