Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Dozens of people have been killed after a massive fire engulfed several buildings in Bangladesh's capital, authorities said.
The fire broke out Wednesday in a multi-story apartment building, which was also used to store plastics, in Chawkbazar in old Dhaka, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
The death toll currently sits at 70 but fire officials expect it to rise as the fire tore through the building and leapt to four others, some of which also stored chemicals, at the tight intersection.
About 50 people, including children, were also injured and admitted to nearby hospitals, Al Jazeera reported.
The fire may have originated from a gas cylinder in the building, fire service chief Ali Ahmed said.
A traffic jam at the intersection where the fire broke out contributed to its devastation.
"People could not escape," Ahmed said.
Early Thursday morning, the 37 units from 31 fire stations deployed to the scene finally had the fire under control but not yet extinguished, Fire Service Deputy Director Dilip Kumar Ghosh said.
Following the fire many people were seen looking for missing relatives at the nearby Dhaka Medical College Hospital, the Daily Star reported.
For many, the incident recalled another blaze in Nimtoli, 1 km away, on June 5, 2010, that resulted in 124 people dead and one of the worst fire tragedies in the city's history.
Long has Dhaka with its profusion of chemical and plastics factories and warehouse along narrow streets been criticized as a fire hazard but little has been done to correct it, the Dhaka Tribune reported.