Photo taken on Aug. 21, 2016 shows the shopping mall where a fire broke out in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. The raging fire that swept through Bangladesh's largest Bashundhara shopping complex has left up to 12 feared trapped inside. (Xinhua)
DHAKA, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The raging fire that swept through Bangladesh's largest Bashundhara shopping complex has left up to 12 feared trapped inside.
"We've come to know that 10-12 people were trapped on the roof," said a Dhaka Metropolitan Police officer who declined to be named, adding that fire fighters are discussing how to safely rescue them.
He said onlookers initially heard people screaming and shouting.
The blaze broke out on Sunday at about 11:30 a.m. local time in the market's 5th floor, which is packed with scores of local and foreign mobile shops, sending huge thick black smoke into the air visible for at least several kilometers.
About 18 teams of firefighters have been sent to the spot trying to put out the blaze.
The fire continued for more than three hours.
The cause of the fire has not been ascertained so far with the security officials yet to comment on the incident.
Bashundhara is 19 stories tall, of which eight are used for the mall, which accommodates some 2,500 shops as well as a cinema and cafes, and the remainder as the corporate headquarters of the Bashundhara Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates of Bangladesh.
No one knows how many are trapped inside the burning building though hundreds of people were shortly evacuated from the shopping mall.
Numerous valuables were burnt in the fire bringing huge losses to the shopowners
There was so far no loss of life immediately.
This is the second major fire incident in the market in less than eight years.
Earlier in March 2009, a big fire broke out at the shopping complex which claimed at least seven people's lives and caused huge financial losses.