More Than 45 Killed In Bangladesh As Blaze Erupts At Mall

Dozens of people are being treated for burn wounds in two state-run hospitals.

More Than 45 Killed In Bangladesh As Blaze Erupts At Mall

A major fire in a six-story shopping mall in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, has killed at least 45 people and injured scores. 

The fire broke out at a biryani restaurant on the first floor of Green Cozy Cottage Shopping Mall late Thursday, and 13 units of firemen fought the flames for two hours. 

Doctors said the majority of the victims suffocated, while some died as they leaped off the structure. Dozens of patients are being treated for burns at two state-run hospitals, they added. 

According to a firefighting officer, the fire might have erupted from a gas leak or a stove. "It was a dangerous building with gas cylinders on every floor, even on the staircases."

Relatives arrived at the hospital early Friday to receive the corpses of the deceased, with some wailing outside the emergency room.

Samanta Lal Sen, Health Minister, told reporters that the death toll was likely to grow. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed shock and grief over the tragic incident and directed officials to offer prompt medical care to those harmed. A five-member committee has been established to probe the incident.

Fires are widespread in densely populated Dhaka, where many new structures have grown up, many of which lack basic safety features. Fires and explosions have been caused by malfunctioning gas cylinders, air conditioners, and inadequate electrical wiring.