Bangladesh police arrest building owners over deadly fire | News | DW | 31.03.2019
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Bangladesh police arrest building owners over deadly fire

Bangladeshi police say they have arrested two owners of a high-rise building that caught fire last week, killing 26 people. The disaster highlights the often lax enforcement of fire safety regulations in the country.

Police in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, say they have arrested two of the owners of a high-rise commercial building where a fire last week killed 26 people and injured some 70 others.

A police official told reporters that the two owners were arrested for negligence and violations of a national building code that resulted in casualties. He said the two could end up facing charges of culpable homicide, as is usual in Bangladesh when negligence causes death.

The disaster has raised fresh questions about fire safety standards and their enforcement in Bangladesh after authorities discovered that the 22-story building had no fire-protected staircases or other adequate safety measures, and had been illegally extended upward.

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The fire was the latest in a series of deadly blazes in factories and other structures in Bangladesh in which hundreds of people have died over the past years.

In 2012, a fire at a garment factory shocked the world when 112 workers were killed because they were locked in the building and could not escape the flames. Just months later another garment factory collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people. A 2010 blaze at an illegal chemical storage facility killed at least 123 people.

Last month, at least 67 people died in another fire in the capital.

tj/jlw (AP, Reuters)

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