An explosion at a seven-story commercial building in the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday killed at least 14 people and injured dozens, officials said.
The blast occurred in Gulistan, a busy commercial area in Dhaka, fire brigade official Rashed bin Khaled said by telephone.
The building contained several stores selling plumbing products and household items, and its top two floors were badly damaged, according to firefighters.
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It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the explosion.
Khaled said at least 11 fire crews were working at the scene of the explosion.
Bacchu Mia, a police officer at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said more than 50 people were taken there for treatment and at least 14 of them died.
Bangladesh has a history of fires and industrial disasters, including factories catching fire with workers trapped inside. Monitoring groups blamed corruption and lax enforcement.
A huge fire on Sunday in a crowded refugee camp for Rohingya Muslims in southern Bangladesh has left thousands homeless. No casualties were reported at Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar district.
In 2012, some 117 workers died when they were trapped behind closed exits at a garment factory in Dhaka.
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The country’s worst industrial disaster occurred the following year, when the Rana Plaza garment factory outside Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.
In 2019, a fire ravaged a 400-year-old area filled with apartments, shops and warehouses in the oldest part of Dhaka and killed at least 67 people. Another fire in old Dhaka in a house that illegally stored chemicals killed at least 123 people in 2010.
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In 2021, a fire at a food and beverage factory outside Dhaka killed at least 52 people, many of whom were trapped inside by an illegally closed door.
Last year, a fire at a container storage depot near Chittagong’s main seaport killed at least 41 people, including nine firefighters, and injured more than 100.