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124 dead in Bangladesh factory fire

Posted on Nov 25, 04:02PM | IANS

At least 124 people were killed when a fire raged through a garment factory in the outskirts of the Bangladesh capital, officials said Sunday.

The fire that started Saturday evening at Tazreen Fashion near the Dhaka Export Processing Zone in Ashulia was brought under control around 6 a.m. Sunday, the Daily Star quoted fire service officials as saying.

Sources said the toll may rise as a search operation was still going on.

Nine bodies were found Saturday night, and 115 more were recovered from the factory Sunday morning.

Police and fire-fighters said those killed in the incident did not suffer burns, but died after jumping from different floors of the eight-storey building. Some also died in a stampede.

An official from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said they will provide one lakh taka (around USD 12,300) to the kin of each of the dead.

Officials told Xinhua the blaze began at the cotton warehouse on the second floor of the factory.

Police suspect the fire originated from an electrical short-circuit.

There were around 4,000 workers when the fire started. About 1,000 workers were trapped inside the factory while 3,000 managed to escape.

In a similar incident in 2007, at least 50 workers were killed in a blaze at a garment factory in the southeastern city of Chittagong.