Seven die in Dhaka mall blaze

A helicopter plucked survivors from the roof of Bangladesh's biggest shopping mall as a fire raced through the upper levels of the high-rise complex.

Written by Associated Press | Dhaka | Published:March 14, 2009 10:00 am

A helicopter plucked survivors from the roof of Bangladesh’s biggest shopping mall as a fire raced through the upper levels of the high-rise complex,killing at least seven people and injuring 50 others.

Huge flames shot into the air on Friday amid billowing smoke as hundreds of panicked people,many carrying shopping bags,fled Dhaka’s 22-story Bashundhara City mall,which had more than 2,000 stores and cafes.

A security guard died at a hospital hours after the blaze broke out on the 18th floor,fire official Selina Chowdhury said.

Firefighters recovered three bodies,all of them men,from an elevator after the fire was brought under control,said Dhaka Metropolitan Police official Mahbubur Rahman.

Firefighter Sheikh Mohammad Shahjalal said they recovered another three bodies later,but would not provide details.

Fifteen fire trucks responded,but the flames spread quickly. Troops and police joined firefighters in the rescue work,said Abul Kalam Azad,spokesman for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

An air force helicopter rescued three people,including the mall’s chief security officer,from the roof,Rahman said.

Rahman said the blaze was fanned by winds and that firefighters took nearly seven hours to douse the flames.

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