Munir Uz Zaman / AFP / Getty Images
Firefighters fought a flame in a high-rise office building Thursday in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, where dozens of people were captured by flames and smoke. In a dramatic moment, some of them in used ropes or cables to climb down, in a desperate effort save themselves.
"We have so far confirmed the death of six people in the fire," said SM Mostak Ahmed, vice president of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, according to the Daily Star newspaper.
At least one person was seen from the building as a large crowd saw the tragic scenes from the street below.
"Military helicopters and at least 19 firefighting units are part of the rescue operation," reports Chennai Sushmita Pathak to NPR's Newscast unit. "Just last month, at least 70 people were killed in a big fire in another part of Dhaka."
The fire started on the sixth or seventh floor shortly before noon. local time, according to the Dhaka Tribune, which mentions fire department spokesman Ataur Rahman.
Brand officials said most of the people who had been trapped inside were rescued within hours.
"The situation is under control," said Debashish Bardhan, Deputy Chief of Fire and Civil Defense Deputy to the Associated Press.
The fire sent smoke through the building – leading Shajuti Swarna, who was in an office high above the street when the fire broke out, to publish a video on Facebook and ask for help to come out. Her footage shows office workers holding clothes in their faces to breathe, moving away from cabinets and windows, and toward the interior of the building.
The building, Banani FR Tower, has been reported to have between 19 and 21 stories differently. Large parts of its glass façade were broken by the fire – and by firefighters hoping to pull smoke and gases out of the building. In a video, the fire can be seen burning at least three floors.