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Death toll in Bangladesh fire at 117

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 117 dead in one of Dhaka's deadliest blazes, news agency says
  • Country observes day of mourning
  • Days earlier, five-story building collapsed, killing 25

(CNN) -- The death toll from a fire in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, has climbed to 117, making it the deadliest blaze in recent memory, the national news agency said.

The country on Saturday flew its flags at half staff and observed a day of mourning for those who perished in the fire in the old section of Dhaka.

"The toll remained 117, but many others are being treated with critical burn injuries in hospitals," Dhaka Administrative Chief Mohibul Haque told the news agency.

The explosion of an electric transformer in Dhaka Thursday caused the blaze, fire officials told the Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha agency.

The fire then engulfed a plastic factory and four nearby buildings, the agency reported. Flames jumped some 300 feet in the sky as firefighters struggled to control them.

Along with the dead, about 50 people were critically injured.

The blaze came just days after a five-story building collapsed in another part of the city, flattening three other structures and killing 25 people.