News / World

Wire Service
2 minute read
14 Oct 2021
11:02 pm

The world’s deadliest infernos


A blaze in the Grenfell Tower high-rise in west London in 2017 killed 72 people, Britain's deadliest fire since World War II.

This handout photo released by the Kaohsiung Fire Department on October 14, 2021 shows firefighters battling an overnight blaze that tore through a building in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, killing at least 46 people and injuring dozens of others. (Photo by Handout / Kaohsiung Fire Department / AFP)

The blaze that killed 46 people in a 13-storey block in Taiwan on Thursday is one of the deadliest in a residential building in the last two decades. Here are some of the others:

– Bangladesh –

In 2010 about 120 people died in a massive fire that hit a densely populated historic neighbourhood in the capital Dhaka. Six large buildings were gutted by the fire at a wedding feast.

At least 70 people died and 55 were injured in a massive fire in 2019 that ravaged apartment buildings in Dhaka where chemicals were being illegally stored. The blaze started with a gas cylinder in a residential building before spreading quickly to adjacent buildings.

– Britain –

A blaze in the Grenfell Tower high-rise in west London in 2017 killed 72 people, Britain’s deadliest fire since World War II. An official report blamed highly combustible cladding fixed to the 24-storey block as the “principal reason” the fire spread.

– China –

Eighteen people died and around 20 were injured in 2011 after an electric tricycle caught fire next to a four-storey building in Beijing built without a permit.

A huge fire the previous year in a 28-storey apartment building in the Shanghai district of Jingan killed 58.

The tower was being renovated and some residents sought refuge on scaffolding or attempted to jump to safety.

Nineteen died in 2002 when a nine-storey building caught fire in Nanchong in Sichuan province. The blaze began in a wholesale food market occupying the first three floors before spreading to upper levels where some 200 residents lived.

– France – 

In 2005 smoke from a fire in the entrance to an 18-storey block of flats in L’Hay-les-Roses, south of Paris, killed 18 people. Four girls admitted setting fire to mailboxes in the building after an argument.