Francis prays for Bangladeshi fire victims

Francis prays for Bangladeshi fire victims Locals and firefighters gather around buildings that caught fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing dozens of people.

Pope Francis has offered his solidarity and prayers to victims of a massive fire in the centre of the Bangladeshi capital, which has reportedly claimed well over 70 lives, at time of writing.

“His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the loss of life and of the injuries caused by the conflagration in the centre of Dhaka,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State.

“He extends his solidarity to all affected, and prays especially for the repose of the deceased and for the healing of those injured.”

The fast-moving fire swept through a densely populated historic district of Dhaka. Many residents were trapped, including, reportedly, a bridal party. Many are still missing and the death toll is expected to rise.


The blaze reportedly began in a chemical warehouse on the ground floor of a residential building.

The Pope also offered his encouragement to the Bangladeshi emergency personnel as they assist victims, and upon all he invoked “the divine blessings of consolation and strength”. Emergency crews reportedly battled the blaze for five hours but were hindered by narrow streets and a lack of access to water.