Internet InfoMedia bangladesh fire kills at least 44 in shopping mall
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Officials said the multistory fire broke out just before 10 p.m. on Thursday. The blaze left dozens injured, many in critical condition.

At least 44 people were killed and dozens were injured when a fire ripped through a shopping mall late Thursday night in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, officials said.

Bachchu Mia, a police inspector at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, where several victims were being treated, said that 27 of the 44 dead had been identified and that their bodies had been handed over to their families.

“Most of them died of suffocation, not burning,” he said, making it easier to identify them.

At least 75 other people were injured, fire officials said.

Witnesses said the building had one staircase and elevator, with no emergency exit, making escape difficult. Some people some trapped inside jumped from higher floors, they said.

The fire erupted at about 9:51 p.m. on the mall’s second floor, which features a popular biryani restaurant. It quickly spread to the rest of the seven-story building, fire officials said, ripping through a clothing store on the third floor.

It took crews at least two hours to put the fire out, officials said.

Video showed that most of the floors had been charred by the flames. A firefighter atop a fire engine ladder could be seen trying to extinguish a small fire that was still burning near one of the upper floors. Another video showed survivors being lowered onto a ladder as a crush of emergency workers, media and onlookers waited to receive them on street below.

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By Julie Walton Shaver

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