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.


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

comments powered by Disqus