An explosion took place at a seven-storey building at North South Road of Siddique Bazar on Tuesday afternoon. An adjacent building was also damaged. As many as 18 people have died. Bodies of 16 victims have already been handed over to their relatives.

The rescue operation was halted at 10:45pm on Tuesday as the damaged building was deemed too risky.

The rescue work resumed after 9:00am the following day. However, relatives of missing people arrived at the blast site much earlier.

Immediately after the blast, 11 fire fighting units carried out the rescue operation.

Fire service sources said they suspect the main blast took place at the basement of the seven-storey building.

Fire service Dhaka division deputy director Dinomoni Sharma said water has accumulated in the basement.

"There may have been a space to reserve water in the basement. That space most probably got damaged and water has spilled over. We have begun cleaning that up," he added.