Deadly fire rips through Bangladesh shopping centre | In Pictures News

At least 45 people have been killed and dozens of others wounded in a blaze at a six-story shopping mall in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, officials said on Friday.

The fire started late on Thursday at a restaurant on the first floor of the Green Cozy Cottage Shopping Mall in central Dhaka. Fire Service and Civil Defence Director General Brigadier General Md Main Uddin said more than a dozen firefighting units were deployed to douse the fire.

Health Minister Samanta Lal Sen said the toll could rise as at least 18 critically injured people were being treated in two state-run hospitals.

One survivor said people escaped by heading to the building’s roof.

“I knew about the fire when it was on the first floor. We moved to the roof of the building. Around 30 people were there. After the fire was under control, fire service personnel broke into one side of the roof and rescued us,” Mohammed Siam, a survivor, said.

Thirty-eight victims have been identified and 26 of the bodies have been handed to their families, said Bacchu Mia, in charge of a police outpost at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

“Overnight many families waited here for their loved ones. It’s a heartbreaking scene as they desperately looked for their family members who died in the tragedy,” Mia said.

A fire department team entered the charred building in the morning to see if there were more bodies, and forensic experts began looking for evidence in the investigation of the fire.

Fire authorities said a gas leak or a stove could have caused the blaze, which spread quickly after breaking out in a biryani restaurant.

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