People trapped in blazing tower block ‘jump to their death trying to escape’

A huge fire has broken out in a 19-storey office building in Bangladesh’s capital, with reports of people leaping from the building and others feared trapped inside.

An official in the Fire Department control room, Ershad Hossain, says the FR Tower in Dhaka’s Banani area caught fire Thursday afternoon.

There was no immediate confirmation of casualties, although some reports said several people fell from the building trying to escape the fire.

Witness Sajib Hasan said people were seen shouting for help from windows on the upper floors of the building.

Fire crews and military helicopters have rushed to the scene to join the rescue operation.  

‘Nineteen fire-fighting units are working at the scene. Bangladesh navy and air force have also joined to fight the fire,’ said duty officer Mohammad Russel from Dhaka’s central fire service control room. 

It is feared some people are trapped inside the office block in Banani, an upmarket commercial district in the Bangladeshi capital.

More to follow…