Death roll in shantytown fire rises to 22 in Bangladesh
Mar 7, 2007 - 10:40:27 PM

Chittagong -, March 7 - The death roll at a sweeping inferno in the southern Bangladesh port of Chittagong rose to 22 Wednesday as rescuers brought out another charred body of a woman from the debris, officials said.

Fire fighters fought leaping flames, which quickly engulfed a colony of over 200 slum-dwellers in the Baubazaar area of the business hub.

Initial reports said at least 21 people were killed in their sleep in the midnight fire, which devastated a shantytown in the city.

'Fire fighters were unable to reach the location of the blaze quickly enough because of narrow entrance of the slum,' said Abdur Razzak, a local civil defence officer.

Witnesses said the great majority of inhabitants worked for local apparel factories.

Initial investigations indicated the fire had originated from a nearby warehouse storing waste from apparel sweatshops.

All six members of one family were charred to death. Police said most bodies were burned beyond recognition. Fire fighters took more than four hours to put off the blaze.

It was the second highest toll in a fire in Chittagong since last year when 61 people perished.

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