Bangladesh Fire: Death Toll Soars
The death toll from a horrific blaze that ripped through a Bangladesh skyscraper has risen to 25, including those who leapt to their deaths, as firefighters combed through the charred shell of the building.
A Bangladeshi housing official said that criminal charges would be filed against the owner of the commercial building in Banani area of Dhaka.
Minister for Housing and Public Work SM Rezaul Karim also pledged to take action against officials in his ministry if they were guilty of wrongdoing associated with allowing the added floors or other violations.
According to reports, some of those stuck inside made it to safety by sliding down cables on the side of the building, but as shocked onlookers watched, others took their chances and jumped in a bid to escape the smoke and heat.
At least six people including a Sri Lankan national, died in this way, officials said.
Senior fire service official, Mohsin Ali, said that rescuers were scouring the building, concentrating on the worst-affected eighth-to-tenth floors.
The fire department initially put the death toll at 19 but police said that six more had died in the fire.
Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Mostak Ahmed said that the death toll is 25 and that 24 bodies have been handed over to their relatives.
The other victim’s remains are being held until relatives are located.
There was no immediate indication if others are missing, but more than 70 people were treated in hospital in the wake of the blaze.