At least 11 people, among them six women and a child, died Sunday in a fire that broke out early in the morning in a shantytown on the outskirts of Dacca, the capital of Bangladesh, police told Efe.

The assistant chief of the Dacca police, Masudur Rahman, said that the cause of the fire is still not clear, adding that although the blaze has been extinguished, "it is possible that more lifeless bodies may be found" among the ruins of the rickety dwellings consumed by the flames.

The fire began about 3 a.m. (2100 GMT on Saturday) in the Bou Bazar shantytown located in the Hazaribagh district, according to what fire department official Ataur Rahmantold the local Bdnews24.

He said that it took firefighters four hours to bring the fire under control, adding that the flames destroyed about 500 houses.

In the large cities of Bangladesh, millions of people live in poor slums without access to basic services such as electricity, potable water and medical care.

With the approach of winter, it is common for residents of the slum districts to light bonfires during the night to ward off the cold. EFE