Bangladesh fire: Emergency exits in Dhaka high-rise ‘were locked’


Victims of a tower block fire in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Thursday may have been trapped because emergency exits were locked, officials say. At least 25 people died and 70 others were injured in the blaze.

Six of the victims are believed to have fallen to their deaths when they jumped from the burning high-rise building. Shajahan Shikdar, from Dhaka’s fire department, told the BBC’s Bengali Service that there was also a shortage of fire safety equipment inside. It is not yet clear what caused the fire in the commercial district of Banani. The government has ordered an investigation.

The fire broke out at about 12:50 local time (06:50 GMT) on Thursday, quickly engulfing the high-rise property and trapping people inside. Many are believed to have been stuck on the upper floors of the building, above where the fire had started. “The fire safety system of this building was not satisfactory,” Mr Shikdar told BBC News. “There was only a narrow, two-feet-wide iron staircase available as a fire escape, but it was found locked on different floors. So the people in this building were not able to use it during the fire.”(BBC)…[+]