Bangladesh fire kills more than 40 in capital Dhaka, dozens injured

Ahammad Foyez
Bangladesh fire kills more than 40 in capital Dhaka, dozens injured A mother searches for her son who went missing after a fire broke out at the seven-story Green Cozy Cottage Shopping Mall on Bailey Road in Dhaka, March 1, 2024.
Jibon Ahmed/Benarnews

At least 44 people, including 21 women and four children, were killed in a fire that ripped through a multi-story shopping mall in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka overnight, authorities said Friday.

The fire started at a restaurant on Dhaka’s Bailey Road at about 9:50 p.m. Thursday and quickly spread throughout the seven-story building, fire officials said. It was brought under control just before midnight. 

Early Friday, Health Minister Samanta Lal Sen said that 43 bodies had been taken to two hospitals in the capital and at least 22 people were being treated for critical burns.

Separately, Police Inspector General Abdullah Al-Mamun confirmed another man was brought dead to the Central Police Hospital.

“It is a very sad incident. We are trying to heal those who are admitted,” Sen told reporters in front of the emergency department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

The cause of the blaze is still unknown and authorities had not yet identified all the deceased on Friday morning, as distraught relatives began gathering outside the two hospitals.

The Criminal Investigative Department (CID) cordoned off the scene of the fire at the Green Cozy Cottage Shopping Mall in Dhaka, March 1, 2024. [Photo Credit: Jibon Ahmed/Benarnews]

Syed Riad was waiting outside Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Friday morning to retrieve the bodies of his relatives. 

His cousin Syed Mubarak Hossain, a Bangladeshi who lives in Italy, returned to Dhaka a month ago to take his wife, two daughters and son back to Europe with him. 

“My cousin was preparing to take his wife and children there [Italy],” he told BenarNews. “The visa was done for everyone. But they cannot go — they died in the Bailey Road fire,” he said, adding he suspected they were having dinner in the building when the fire started.

All floors of the building were used for commercial purposes, including several restaurants such as Kacchibhai, KFC and Pizza Inn. 

Brig. Gen. Main Uddin, the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence director, said about 75 people were rescued from the fire and taken to hospital, 42 of whom were unconscious. 

“There were clothes shops on the second floor of the building while there were restaurants on other floors ... The fire spread quickly and burned aggressively. More people died from suffocation than burns,” Uddin told reporters.

“There were gas cylinders on every floor, even on the staircases, which is very dangerous.”

A five-member investigatory body has been formed to look into the incident, he said.


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