Many killed, scores injured in Bangladesh factory fire

A fire at a multi-storey garment factory near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, killed 25 people.

Many killed, scores injured in Bangladesh factory fire

A fire at a multi-storey garment factory near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, killed 25 people and injured more than 100 on Tuesday, police, firefighters and doctors said.

More than 10,000 people, most of them women, work at the complex, Arifa Ahmed, an official of the factory owned by Ha-Meem Group Ltd, told Reuters.

"The good luck was that many of them were out for lunch (when the fire started)," Ahmed said.

It took more than five hours to douse the blaze and the search for more bodies was continuing in the debris, said a firefighter at the factory at Ashulia, 25 km (16 miles) north of the capital.

A doctor of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital said 12 bodies were lying there. Others bodies were at four other hospitals at Ashulia, police and firefighters said, which were thronged with relatives of those injured or missing.

Police and fire service officials told Reuters that the casualties were likely to increase as several of the victims were in a critical condition.

At least 50 people with serious burns were taken to hospitals. Some of them were injured in a stampede as hundreds of workers tried to escape, witnesses said.

Soldiers from a nearby military district joined the rescue and air force helicopters plucked some people from the roof of the 12-storey building, witnesses said.

The fire broke out on the ninth floor and quickly spread. The cause was not known.

More than 20 people were killed in another garment factory fire at Gazipur some 50 km (31 miles) north of the capital Dhaka, in February.

Garments account for more than 80 percent of Bangladesh's annual exports worth of more than $16 billion.

Bangladesh has nearly 4,500 garment businesses employing 3 million workers, mostly women.


Reuters

Last Mod: 14 Aralık 2010, 17:58
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