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The South Asian Insider

Fire races through clothing market in Bangladesh capital

Firefighters were working to get under control a massive fire that burned through a popular clothing market and spread to other small markets and buildings in Bangladesh’s capital Tuesday. No casualties have been reported so far. The fire started at Bangabazar Market in Dhaka at 6:10 a.m. and firefighters from 47 units were working to douse the blaze, fire service official Rafi Al Faruk told The Associated Press by phone. It continued to rage six hours after it began. Anwarul Islam, another fire service official, said they didn’t know how the fire originated. Many shop owners in Bangabazar Market burst into tears; they had been hoping for good business ahead of Islam’s largest festival Eid-al Fitr later this month. “I have two shops here. Everything is gone,” said Mohammed Mohsin as he sobbed. “All my capital has been invested here. Why does God punish me this way?”Many merchants tried to save some of their belongings but failed as the fire spread quickly. Fires are common in commercial places in Bangladesh because of lax monitoring and lack of fire safety arrangements. But the country’s garment industry, which has had devastating fires in the past, has improved significantly over the last decade.