Bangladesh slum fire kills at least 11

At least 11 people have been killed in a fire in a slum outside the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka.

Fire department official Ataur Rahman said the fire broke out at 3 a.m. Sunday at the Bou Bazar slum near Dhaka's Mohammadpur area, reported the Associated Press. It took firefighters four hours to put out the blaze.

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"The victims were five women and six children. They were burnt to death," local police chief Rafiqul Islam told Agence France-Presse from the scene. "The fire service and the locals have brought the blaze under control. Scores of people were also seriously injured."

BBC's Dhaka reporter Anbarasan Ethirajan said the fire spread rapidly across the shantytown, where homes are mostly shacks made of tin, bamboo and plastic sheets. The neighborhood is home to low-income people such as laborers and rickshaw-pullers, many of whom are now homeless.

Unconfirmed reports stated that the fire started in a rickshaw garage due to the spark of a cigarette butt, a stove or a mosquito coil, destroying more than 500 homes.

According to UPI, city, district and federal officials said every effort would be made to help rebuild the lost homes. The official cause of the first is still under investigation.