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Raising death toll in Bangladesh blaze

Bangladeshi rescuers carry the body of a victim from one of the buildings razed by a fire in Dhaka on Thursday. (AFP / Munir Uz Zaman)
Dozens of people have been killed in a devastating blaze that ripped through buildings in the Chawkbazar area of Old Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, officials and witnesses said Thursday.
At least 70 people are known to have died and approximately 50 others were injured, but the toll is expected to rise.
Approximately 200 firefighters tackled the blaze for more than five hours.
The Chawkbazar area is crammed with buildings separated by narrow alleys. The neighborhood is a mix of residential and commercial, with buildings that commonly have shops, restaurants or warehouses on the ground floors.
The blaze started late Wednesday night in one building but quickly spread to others, fire department Director General Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmed said.
The death toll is expected to rise, with many of the victims trapped inside the buildings, said Mahfuz Riben, a control room official of the Fire Service and Civil Defense in Dhaka.
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