Banani fire: Rescue mission underway to free people trapped in Dhaka building

At least five people were killed and 60 injured as the fire ripped through the FR Tower in the commercial Banani area on Thursday.

Photographs showed thick clouds of smoke billowing from the building and emergency crews working to douse the flames. Video footage showed firefighters rescuing people from the building as huge crowds gathered outside.

A crowd reacts at the scene of the fire.

The injured have been taken to hospitals around the city, Dhaka Fire Department spokesperson Shajahan Sikder told CNN.

It was not known how many people are trapped inside the tower, Sikder said.

The Dhaka Fire Department said 21 firetrucks and more than 100 firefighters were at the scene. Lines of ambulances were waiting to take the rescued to hospitals.

Firefighters works to douse the fire.
Firefighters carry a woman rescued from the building.

“The fire is nearly under control,” Sikder said. “There are some small fires still in some pockets of the building which the firefighters are trying to extinguish, but overall the situation is under control.”

Bangladesh has a history of fatal building fires, especially in factories where safety and structural standards have long been found to be inadequate.

In February, at least 67 people were killed and 40 injured after a fire tore through apartment buildings and chemical warehouses in Dhaka’s Chawkbazar area.

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