Dhaka, March 29 (New York Times): A fire broke out on Thursday in a large office tower in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, killing at least 25 people and injuring several dozen others, officials said.
Videos circulating on social media showed large flames burning through the 24-story building, F.R. Tower. On the ground, witnesses said several people had fallen while trying to descend using cables along the periphery of the building.
Officer Khurshid Anwar of the Bangladesh Fire Service said that 21 firefighting units had been dispatched to douse the blaze, which was brought under control late Thursday afternoon. Of the 25 people who died, he said, 19 were found inside the building in the evening. Among the dead was a Sri Lankan citizen.
At least 70 others were injured, and he warned that the death toll could increase. The cause of the fire was still unknown as of Thursday evening.
Mamunur Rashid Mumun, an executive at a multinational company on the 10th floor, was preparing for afternoon prayers around 12:45 p.m. when he received a call informing him that a fire had broken out a few floors below.
As some of his colleagues rushed for a staircase, Mr. Mumun, 61, who works for Scanwell Logistics Bangladesh, quickly shut down nearby computers.
By the time he moved toward the exit, smoke had darkened the office, making it difficult to breathe, he said. He then broke a window and used internet and telephone cables to descend to the sixth floor, where he re-entered through another window and managed to escape.