P eople grip on rope lowered from helicopters. They tried to slip down the building using its external wires. Since there was no alternative when the 22-storey FR tower burned in Dhaka, at least six people jumped to their death.
Those who searched for the skyscraper's emergency ward discovered that no one had been built.
Friday morning after another deadly inferno in Bangladesh's capital, the firefighters sought the cold tower of the bodies for questions about the stock of unsafe buildings in the world's most populous city.
On-site police said 25 organs had been recovered and more than 70 received treatment. It was not immediately clear if several were missing. "We've identified all the bodies and 24 have been handed over to their families," said Mostaq Ahmed, an officer with the Dhaka police.
Government officials visited the entire morning and banners were hung by the local government, which declared the area was uncertain to the public. It remained with relief workers carrying oxygen tanks filing in and out of the building and six fire trucks parked in the narrow streets surrounding the complex, in one of Dhaka's distinguished neighborhoods.
A young firefighter on the scene said he had joined the force less than a year ago. He was involved in fighting another deadly flame in Dhaka's old town last month, killing at least 70 people. It started in a chemical factory that should have been forced to the outskirts of the city.
"We have been trained to extinguish fire and save lives," he said, asking not to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media. "I feel very contradictory when I think about the old city fire and now this. "
In the six hours the fire burned, the rescue effort had been hampered by large crowds gathering outside the building. Students from nearby universities formed human chains to allow ambulances and water tankers to reach the stage.
The crowds came back Friday on streets filled with broken glass, shoes and dirt from the fire. The air was still acrid, and the building's exterior walls were still wet from the fire-fighting efforts. Tape over the front of the building identified it as a crime scene.
"A town where the fire wakes up," the front page of Bangladesh's Daily Star newspaper read. It included the results of a 2017 fire survey of more than 3,700 buildings in Dhaka, which found that only 129 had "satisfactory" fire safety. The rest was classified as "risky" or "extremely risky".
The Bangladesh authorities have commissioned a fire investigation to investigate that the skyscraper lacked fire equipment, had insufficient fire outlets and were at least four floors higher than allowed. Police are planning to question the developer, SMHI Faruque, who has yet to comment publicly.
The rapidly growing Bangladeshi megacity of more than 17 million people is a cocktail of disaster risks. Much of its development is unplanned and in zones that are vulnerable to earthquakes. Hundreds of buildings in the 17th century old quarter are unpowered, have aging wiring and water supplies, and act as illegal chemical stores. A 2015 study of the extremely crowded congregation 29, which found half of its streets, was too narrow for fire engines to navigate.
In 2012, a fire in a clothing factory killed at least 112 people lying inside. Less than six months later, the Rana Plaza complex collapsed by apparel factories and killed more than 1,100 people.
Although building codes have been improved, their enforcement is still hampered by a poorly authorized and inadequately trained inspectorate.
"The buildings here have no kind of integrated fire extinguishing system," says Zulfiker Rahman, director of the city's fire department, Friday outside the FT Tower.
"Any building around here you can see, not one is equipped with a proper system to minimize fire hazard. And builders don't care. Only when mortal accidents like this do they make some pretentious movements and set aside the question again. "
SM Rezaul Karim, the country's public defense minister, said Thursday's death was no accident." It was murder, "he said." And those whose negligence caused these brutal murders, we take lawsuits against them. No one is spared, no matter how influential they are. "