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Bangladesh building owners arrested after 26 die in fire

Two of the owners of a high-rise building in Bangladesh which caught fire, killing 26 people, have been arrested.

SMHI Faruq and Tasvirul Islam were detained on suspicion of negligence and violations of a national building code that resulted in casualties, Assistant Police Commissioner Abdul Baten told reporters.

In addition to those who lost their lives, about another 70 people were injured in the fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Thursday.

When deaths have occurred in the country as a result of negligence, defendants can face culpable homicide charges.

The 22-storey FR Tower in Dhaka's commercial district had no fire-protected staircases, authorities said, while the top few floors are said to have been constructed illegally.


The owner of the company which built it is also being sought, Mr Baten added.

The building was badly damaged in the fire
Image: The 22-storey building was badly damaged in the blaze

According to officials, permission was sought from the Capital Development Authority in 1996 to build an 18-storey structure only.

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Additional Deputy Commissioner of the Detective Branch, Shahjahan Shaju, said Islam owned the top three floors and had no official approval for their construction, while Faruq was the complex's land owner.

Helicopters were called in to deal with the fire, along with members of the armed forces.

Large fires in Bangladesh have often been blamed on lax regulations and poor enforcement.

Hundreds of people have been killed in recent years – almost 100 in the last month alone.

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