Fire at Dhaka skyscraper, people seen falling from the blazing tower

DHAKA: Fire crews rushed to the scene of a huge blaze that broke out in a 19-storey commercial building in Dhaka on Thursday, a Bangladesh emergency official told AFP.

According to media reports, the fire broke out around 1:00pm. Since then, the building was surrounded by onlookers and volunteer helpers.

“Nineteen fire-fighting units are working at the scene. Bangladesh navy and air force have also joined to fight the fire,” said duty officer Mohammad Russel from Dhaka’s central fire service control room.

Images on social media showed intense flames and thick black smoke pouring out of the building, with panicked bystanders rushing in the populous Banani Bazar and were heard raising ‘Allahu Akbar’ slogans.

According to reports, at least six people were seen falling from the tower in a bid to escape the blaze that grew over the hour. They were all rushed to hospital immediately but their condition could not be confirmed.

There is no confirmed report of casualty yet but more feared to be trapped. Firefighters at the scene were working to evacuate those still inside of the building.

A massive blaze in Dhaka’s old quarter last month killed at least 70 people and injured 50 others.

Fire service officials said a warehouse of deodorant and granular plastic in one of the five buildings that caught fire fuelled that inferno, which took more than 12 hours to control.

The disaster recalled a June 2010 fire in the nearby neighbourhood of Nimtoli in which 123 people were killed.

More soon.

With AFP inputs