2019 Dhaka fire

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2019 Dhaka fire
Fire location is located in Dhaka
Fire location
Fire location
Fire location (Dhaka)
Date20 February 2019
Time22:38 BST (UTC+06:00)
LocationChowk Bazaar, Dhaka Old City, Bangladesh
Coordinates23°42′59″N 90°23′39″E / 23.7165°N 90.3941°E / 23.7165; 90.3941Coordinates: 23°42′59″N 90°23′39″E / 23.7165°N 90.3941°E / 23.7165; 90.3941
CauseGas cylinder explosion
Non-fatal injuries50+

On 20 February 2019, fire broke out in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The fire started in a road accident between a pickup van and a private car. After the collision the private car's gas cylinder exploded. The fire then spread to a group of buildings being used to store chemicals, and quickly expanded to nearby buildings in the densely packed historic district of Chowk Bazaar in Old Dhaka.[2] The fire left at least 80 people dead and 50 others injured.[1]


The fire was reported to have originated in the explosion of a cylinder of compressed natural gas in a vehicle, which quickly triggered further fires in buildings and nearby gas cylinders.[3] The blaze was first reported at 22:38,[4] and was reported to be under control by about 03:00.[5]

The first building to burn housed shops and a warehouse storing plastic goods, cosmetics and perfume on the first floor, with residential housing on upper stories.[6] Eventually it spread to the four-storey building behind the Shahi Mosque. Locals said that it was owned by one late Wahid Chairman. From that building, the fire spread to Rajmoni Restaurant and three other buildings in the narrow alley.[7][6]

An electric transformer exploded just after the fire broke, which demolished several cars parked on the alley. The alley was full of people because of a wedding ceremony in a nearby community centre.[8]


As of 21 February, the death toll was estimated to be at least 80.[1] In addition to those killed, at least 50 people were injured and transported to hospitals with severe burns and lung damage.[9]


Abdul Hamid, the President of Bangladesh, and Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, offered their condolences to the victims of the fire, as did Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and many others.[10]

In the aftermath of the fire, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon said chemical warehouses would no longer be permitted in the city.[11]

Pakistan's Foreign Office Spokesperson expressed deep regret.[12][13]

The United States embassy in Dhaka offered its condolences to the victims of the fire via Twitter.[14]

Financial assistance[edit]

The Ministry of Labour and Employment of Bangladesh offered 100,000 to the family of each deceased victim, and 50,000 to each of the injured.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Safi, Michael (21 February 2019). "Dhaka fire that killed 80 raises questions over chemical stores". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Deadly fire sweeps Dhaka historic district". 2019-02-21. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  3. ^ "Scores Dead in Bangladesh Fire: 'This Isn't About Poverty, It's About Greed'". The New York Times. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Massive fire at Old Dhaka building". Bangla Tribune. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  5. ^ "At least 81 dead as blaze rips through buildings in Bangladeshi capital". China Daily. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b "পুরান ঢাকার আগুন নিয়ন্ত্রণে, ৭০ লাশ উদ্ধার | banglatribune.com". Bangla Tribune (in Bengali). Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  7. ^ "Chawakbazar fire evokes wounds of 2010 Nimtali tragedy". Prothom Alo. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Old Dhaka fire death toll jumps to 70". bdnews24.com. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  9. ^ CNN. "67 dead in Dhaka fire that ripped through apartment blocks". CNN. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  10. ^ "চকবাজার অগ্নিকাণ্ড: নির্ঘুম রাত কাটালেন প্রধানমন্ত্রী". Jugantor. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  11. ^ "There will be no chemical warehouse in Dhaka: DSCC mayor". The Daily Star. 2019-02-21. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
  12. ^ "Pakistan condoles loss of lives in Dhaka fire incident". ARYNEWS. 22 February 2019.
  13. ^ Mati (22 February 2019). "Pakistan grieves over loss of lives in Dhaka fire". Dispatch News Desk.
  14. ^ Dhaka, U. S. Embassy (2019-02-21). "The United States Embassy Dhaka community offers our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the fire in Chawkbazar in Dhaka last night. Our prayers are with the families of those injured and lost and to all who mourn across the great nation of Bangladesh". @usembassydhaka. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  15. ^ "চকবাজারে আগুনের পর কর্তৃপক্ষ যা বললেন..." প্রথম আলো (in Bengali). Retrieved 2019-02-22.