Blaze rips through around 1,000 shanties in Bangladeshi capital, leaving many homeless

  by Naim-Ul-Karim 
   DHAKA, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) — A fire tore through one of the largest slums here on Friday evening, destroying around 1,000 shanties and leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. 
   A total of 20 fire units battled hard for about three hours to bring the fire under control at about 10:35 p.m. local time on Friday evening, Fire Service control room official Mahmud Hasan told Xinhua. 
   The slum, called Chalantika, in Dhaka’s Mirpur area, is a densely populated residential complex, home to hundreds of thousands of poor residents. 
   Fortunately, most of the residents were away from their houses when the fire broke out because of Muslim Eid al-Adha festival celebrated here on Aug. 12. 
   No casualty has been reported so far. 
   And the firefighters have not determined immediately the cause of the blaze. 
   According to the official, the fire originated from the slum at around 7:22 p.m. local time on Friday evening and it soon engulfed the shanties. 
   Hasan said most of the shanties made of scrap sheet iron, plastic and cardboard were destroyed fully or partially in the devastating fire. 
   He, however, could not tell the number of shanties in the slum. 
   But local media reports put the number of shanties in the slum at about 1,000. 
   Many affected slum dwellers were seen lament in open sky as most of them left behind all valuables to save their life. 
   Fires in Bangladeshi slums where hundreds of thousands of people are crammed in shacks along rail and waterways s are common. 
   In capital Dhaka alone, every year fires leave thousands of slum dwellers homeless.   Enditem