Thursday 19 September 2019

Fire destroys slum as number left homeless 'could rise as high as 50,000'

Flames engulf a slum after a fire broke out. Photo: Reuters
Flames engulf a slum after a fire broke out. Photo: Reuters

Saptarshi Ray

At least 10,000 people were left homeless yesterday after a huge blaze destroyed most of a slum area of Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital.

The fire swept through the crowded slum of Mirpur, destroying thousands of homes, most of them poorly constructed from rudimentary materials.

Officials said that the fire broke out in the early hours of Saturday and left around 2,000 mostly tin shacks in smouldering ruins. The ultimate number of people without homes could rise as high as 50,000.

"I could not salvage a single thing. I don't know what I will do," 58-year-old Abdul Hamid, who ran a tea stall inside the slum, told AFP news agency.

Authorities eventually got the blaze under control and no one was killed, although several people had minor injuries, firefighters said.

Many residents - largely low-income garment factory workers - were not in the slum as they had left to celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Irish Independent

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