Published: Mon, August 19, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bangladesh: Massive fire destroys 10,000 homes in Dhaka slum

Bangladesh: Massive fire destroys 10,000 homes in Dhaka slum

Fires in Bangladeshi slums where hundreds of thousands of people are crammed in shacks along rail and waterways s are common.

More than 10,000 people have been left homeless after a massive fire engulfed a slum in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, destroying thousands of shanties, according to Bangladeshi officials. The ultimate number of people without homes could rise as high as 50,000.

A total of 20 fire units battled hard for about three hours to bring the fire under control at about 10:35 p.m. local time on Friday evening, Fire Service control room official Mahmud Hasan told Xinhua.

Most residents are low-wage earners and many were away after the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Several people were injured but nobody was killed in the fire, authorities said. The damage would have been much bigger if they were at the spot, local police chief Golam Rabbani said.

"We are providing them with food, water, mobile toilets, and electricity supply", municipal official Shafiul Azam told AFP, adding that authorities were trying to find permanent accommodation.

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Of those who were at home when the fire broke out, they were unable to salvage much of anything.

Most of the slum's inhabitants are low-paid workers from close clothing factories.

Fires are frequent in Dhaka, with many blaming poorly enforced safety measures.

In March, a fire in a high-rise office building in Dhaka killed 25 people.

Bangladesh's deadliest industrial blaze to date tore through one of Dhaka's most densely populated areas on June 3, 2010, killing 117 people. An investigation later found it was caused by arson and that managers at the Ashulia district plant had locked the gates to prevent victims from getting out.

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