A big fire is raging in a major clothing bazaar in the capital of Bangladesh.
On Tuesday, a fire broke out at Banga Bazar Market in Dhaka at 6:10 a.m. (12:10 GMT). Still, no casualties were immediately recorded, according to Rafi Al Faruk, a local fire services official who spoke with the Associated Press news agency.
He reported that 47 firefighting units were working to extinguish the immense conflagration, which covered the city's oldest neighbourhoods in thick black smoke.
He stated, "We have no immediate reports of any casualties."
Nonetheless, shop owners and fire officials told reporters that the Banga Bazar market and three surrounding business districts were nearly destroyed.
Another fire department official, Anwarul Islam, said they had no idea how the fire started.
Rakibul Islam, a spokesperson for the fire service, told the AFP news agency that 600 firemen are attempting to extinguish the blaze.
A military spokesman reported that an air force chopper had joined the firefighting mission.
The helicopter's aerial footage revealed hundreds of people watching the fire from a nearby overpass.
The market is a popular destination for low-cost Western fashion brands like Tommy Hilfiger, who sell garments created in the city's garment factories that did not meet export standards.
Just weeks before Eid, the most significant religious holiday in the country and the culmination of Ramadan, distraught store owners informed reporters that the fire had left them impoverished.
"I borrowed $14,100 to purchase Eid clothing," a business owner explained. "I have nothing left."
Bangladesh's commercial spaces are prone to fires due to weak monitoring and a lack of fire protection measures.
Nonetheless, conditions in the country's enormous garment sector, which has endured severe disasters such as deadly fires, have greatly improved during the past decade.