The Latest: Fire in Bangladesh's capital kills at least 69

The Latest on a fire in Bangladesh's capital (all times local):

8:45 a.m.

Officials say the fire that burned through buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital has killed at least 69 people.

The fire in Dhaka was mostly under control early Thursday after more than nine hours of frantic efforts by firefighters.

The Chawkbazar area where the fire was burning is crammed with buildings separated by narrow alleys and is a mix of homes, shops and warehouses.

Mahfuz Riben, a control room official of the Fire Service and Civil Defense in Dhaka, said the death toll had risen to 69 and many victims had become trapped in the buildings.

He told AP by telephone, "Our teams are working there but many of the recovered bodies are beyond recognition. Our people are using body bags to send them to the hospital morgue, this is a very difficult situation."


7 a.m.

A devastating fire has raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed at least 45 people.

About 50 other people have been injured and the fire in Dhaka is not yet under control.

The fire department's Director General Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmed said early Thursday the blaze broke out in the Chawkbazar area Wednesday night in one building but quickly spread.

Ali said by early Thursday rescuers recovered at least 45 bodies as they were trying to get the blaze under control.

Some floors of the destroyed buildings had chemicals and plastic in storage.