Bangladesh factory fire kills 25, injures 100

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 21:14

Dhaka: A devastating fire tore through a
multi-storeyed garment factory near here killing at least 24
people and trapping over 100 others on the roof of the
building.

"The fire is still raging... firefighters are trying
to douse the huge blaze," an official monitoring the fire
said.

Private BDnews24 news agency and television channels
reported that at least 24 people died and more than 50 others
were trapped on the roof of the factory at the Ashulia
Industrial Zone in Savar sub-district on the outskirts of
capital Dhaka.

However, a spokesman of the Ha-Meem Group factory
said: "Twelve bodies have so far been recovered from inside
the factory and the salvage campaign is still underway."
Firefighters were still trying to douse the flame.

A fire brigade spokesman told PTI that prima facie it
appears that the cause of the fire was an electric
short-circuit suspected to have occurred at the 10th floor of
the 12 storied building at about 1.15 pm.

"Most of the workers were having their lunch on the
11th floor as the fire broke out, he said.

Army troops were called out to join the fire service
rescuers while a number of wounded workers were being treated
at a nearby military hospital.

Witnesses said a number of people were wounded as they
tried to escape the building as the fire spread quickly like
an explosion. People at the bottom of the building tried to
save them by spreading blankets or holding fishing nets.

Home Minister Sahara Khatun visited the site and
ordered an investigation into the incident. She said the
government will examine if the incident was part of a
sabotage.

Bangladesh has been witnessing factory violence for
past several days over the issue of disparity of wages.

On Sunday, four people were killed and dozens during
clashes between police and protesting garment industry workers
who took to the streets in thousands in Chittagong, attacked
several garment units and damaged or set on fire a number of
vehicles.

Khatun had earlier said that the unrest, which sparked
in industrial zones across the country including the capital
Dhaka after it had originated from the port city of Chittagong
was part of conspiracy to create instability.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 21:14

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