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At Least 70 Killed in Devastating Apartment Fire in Bangladesh Capital - Reports

© AP PhotoIn this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse flames in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse flames in Dhaka, Bangladesh. - Sputnik International
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At least 70 people were killed in a fire that broke out in an apartment building in an old part of the Bangladeshi capital.

At least 70 bodies have been recovered by Thursday afternoon, AP reports, citing local officials. It is feared that the death toll may rise as some of those injured in the fire are in a critical condition.

Earlier it was reported that 69 people had been killed in a huge blaze that engulfed several buildings in the Chawk Bazar area of Dhaka's old city.

"We have so far recovered the bodies of 69 people," Mahfuz Riven, a duty officer of the Fire Service and Civil Defence, told the Xinhua news agency.

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Earlier, media reported that at least 41 people were killed in the blaze.

"So far we have recovered 41 bodies. The number of bodies may increase," AFP quoted Bangladesh's fire service chief Ali Ahmed.

The apartment building was also reportedly used as a chemical warehouse. The official said that the fire might have been caused by a gas cylinder, adding that the fire quickly spread through building with highly flammable chemicals.

© AP PhotoIn this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A devastating fire raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed scores of people. (AP Photo)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. - Sputnik International
1/3
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A devastating fire raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed scores of people. (AP Photo)
© AP PhotoIn this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A devastating fire raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed scores of people. (AP Photo)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. - Sputnik International
2/3
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A devastating fire raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed scores of people. (AP Photo)
© AP PhotoIn this image made from a video, firefighters and local people gather near smoldering buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. A devastating fire has raced through buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital, causing casualties. (AP Photo)
In this image made from a video, firefighters and local people gather near smoldering buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. - Sputnik International
3/3
In this image made from a video, firefighters and local people gather near smoldering buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. A devastating fire has raced through buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital, causing casualties. (AP Photo)
1/3
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A devastating fire raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed scores of people. (AP Photo)
2/3
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo, firefighters try to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A devastating fire raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed scores of people. (AP Photo)
3/3
In this image made from a video, firefighters and local people gather near smoldering buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. A devastating fire has raced through buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital, causing casualties. (AP Photo)

The fire reportedly broke out around 10:30 p.m. local time (16:30 GMT) on Wednesday and subsequently tore through four other buildings, trapping dozens of people inside.

READ MORE: US Ambassador's Motorcade Attacked in Bangladesh

Last week, at least nine people died as a result of another fire that hit a slum in Bangladesh's southeastern city of Chattogram. According to the Daily Star media outlet, the fire, which devastated some 200 buildings, erupted at night at the Bera Market slum when local residents were sleeping.

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