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At least 81 die in Dhaka fire


Dhaka, At least 80 people on Thursday died after a massive fire engulfed apartment buildings that also housed chemical warehouses in the old city of Bangladesh capital Dhaka. Forensic doctors at state-run Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) said they so far counted 68 bodies, but the toll could be higher as the counting process was still underway simultaneously with autopsy. “We are yet to open all the body-bags (containing copses) and one bag could contain more than one body as it was found so far,” said head of the DMCH’s forensic department Prof Dr Sohel Mahmud. Mahmud, however, feared the toll to rise as many wounded were being treated at the facility with critical burn injuries. The rescue campaign was wrapped up as fire fighters after nearly 14 hours of efforts doused the blaze and retrieved the bodies. They also rescued scores from the scene as many of the victims were trapped inside the buildings.The fire broke out in a mixed-use building at 2340 (local time) on Wednesday, when many residents were sleeping. It started at a chemical warehouse on the ground floor and then raced through three other buildings, officials say. Many people were trapped, unable to escape the flames. Witnesses and police said gas explosions helped fuel the blaze.

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