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15 killed in explosion at commercial building in Dhaka

The explosion took place in a five-storey building in a bustling commercial district in Bangladesh’s capital.

An explosion at an office building in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka killed at least 15 people and injured 140, police and firefighters said.

The explosion shook the fourth and fifth floors of a five-story building in Gulistan, a major hub for wholesale goods in the capital, shortly before 5 p.m. local time (11 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday.

Authorities could not immediately give the reason behind the massive explosion in the bustling commercial area.

“So far, 15 people (two women and 13 men) have died and more than 140 injured people have been taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH),” Inspector Bachchu Mia told Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper and Reuters news. desk.

No fire broke out in the building, but more than 150 firefighters were on the scene to assist in rescue efforts, a fire service spokesman told AFP.

A middle-aged man in a blood-soaked shirt told reporters he was injured in the blast, which shattered windows and damaged a wall of the building.

“There were people on the floor. I escaped by climbing out the window,” he said.

History of fire accidents

Bangladesh has a history of industrial disasters, including factories catching fire with workers trapped inside. Control groups have blamed corruption and lax enforcement.

In 2012, about 117 workers died when trapped behind closed exits at a garment factory in Dhaka.

The country’s worst industrial disaster occurred the following year, when the Rana Plaza garment factory outside Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.

In 2019, a fire tore through a 400-year-old area filled with apartments, shops and warehouses in the oldest part of Dhaka, killing at least 67 people. Another fire in Old Dhaka at a house where illegal chemicals were stored killed at least 123 people in 2010.

In 2021, a fire at a food and beverage factory outside Dhaka killed at least 52 people, many trapped by an illegally locked door.

Last year, a fire at a shipping container depot near the country’s main seaport of Chittagong killed at least 41 people, including nine firefighters, and injured more than 100 others.