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Dozens killed in Bangladesh fire

At least 100 people are killed and a further 100 injured in a large fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The fire was started when an electrical transformer exploded. The head of the fire department speculated that the fire was fanned by chemicals and other flammable products stored in shops. The density of the residential area affected made it difficult for firefighters to quell the blaze.

The fire affected multiple residential buildings in the district of Nimtoli, and trapped residents inside apartments. The fire started at 10.30 pm and lasted for over three hours. Over 100 people were killed, and over another 100 were injured. The fire affected a wedding party, which exacerbated the casualties.

The injured were treated at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, which struggled to cope with the large number of patients suffering burns and smoke inhalation. According to a doctor at the hospital, most of the deaths appeared to have been caused by smoke inhalation rather than burns.

Powerful storms hit Banladesh

Stormy weather in Bangladesh left at least 23 people dead over the weekend and thousands more homeless. The storms, which are common between April and June, swept over the Mymensingh area and destroyed crops and trees.

Most of the deaths were said to have occurred when farmers harvesting rice paddy fields were struck by lightning. Six were in the Habiganj District. Additionally, the lightning killed two teenage brothers in Haluaghat tending to cattle in a field near their home.

Dozens of other people received injuries and were transported to hospitals. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department had issued warnings for continued severe weather.

Disputed island disappears

The island of New Moore, an uninhabited territory near the Bay of Bengal between India and Bangladesh, has vanished, according to Indian scientists.

The island, located south of the Hariabhanga river, has been claimed by both Bangladesh and India for almost thirty years, since it first appeared in the seventies. The School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta commented that the disappearance of the island was confirmed by satellite imagery.

“There’s no trace of the island anymore. After studying satellite images, I reconfirmed this from fishermen,” said Sugato Hazra, the director of Jadavpur University’s school of oceanography studies. According to the Times of India, the island only appears above the water surface if there is an unusually low tide. “What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking has been resolved by global warming.” Read More…

Bangladesh shopping mall fire

Seven people died and 50 others were injured during a fire at Bangladesh‘s largest shopping mall, Friday, March 13, 2009.

Blaze at Bashundhura City Tower, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Blaze at Bashundhura City Tower

The dead include six security guards, three of whom were found in an elevator. The seventh was an employee with the mall fire fighting unit who died from injuries in the hospital.

Survivors on the rooftop were rescued by helicopter. Shoppers fled the mall.

The 22 story Basundhara City Complex in Dhaka has more than 2,000 shops and restaurants. It is not known how many were in the mall nor the exact death count. Flames and smoke billowed from the top floors of the mall.

Fifteen fire trucks were dispatched to the fire. Due to high winds and no ladders which would reach the 18th floor, the blazing inferno took between seven to ten hours to extinguish. The fire began in the Basundhara offices on the 18th floor.

Sheikh Hasina wins in the National Assembly of Bangladesh

A general election was held in Bangladesh on 29 December 2008. The two key parties in the election were the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), led by Khaleda Zia, and the Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina.

Sheikh Hasina

Sheikh Hasina

The Awami League formed a fourteen-party grand alliance (Mohajot) including Ershad’s Jatiya Party, while the BNP formed a four-party alliance which included the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami.

The election was originally scheduled for January 2007, but it was postponed for an extended period due to opposition protests and boycott threats.

The election resulted in a landslide victory for the Awami League led grand alliance, which won 262 seats.

The main rival four-party alliance led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh received only 32 seats, with the remaining 5 going to the other parties and independent candidates. Election in one constituency was postponed due to the death of a candidate.