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Bangladesh fire kills 78

A fast-moving fire that swept through a historic district of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, has now killed at least seventy-eight people.

The blaze broke out at night in a residential building that had flammable material stored on the ground floor.

Members of a bridal party are thought to be among the victims. It is not yet clear what started the fire.

The centuries-old Chawkbazar district has narrow streets and buildings very close to each other.

Large building fires are relatively common in densely populated Bangladesh, owing to lax safety regulations and poor conditions. Hundreds of people have been killed in recent years.

On Sunday,  a fire in a slum in the coastal city of Chittagong killed at least nine people.

The fire broke out in a mixed-use building at 23:40 local time (17:40 GMT) on Wednesday, when many residents were sleeping.

It started at a chemical warehouse on the ground floor and then raced through three other buildings, officials say. Many people were trapped, unable to escape the flames.

The BBC reports witnesses and police saying that gas explosions helped fuel the blaze.

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