General

Bangladesh factory fire: At least 20 killed in Tongi

NNA – At least 20 people have been killed in a huge fire that broke out at a packaging factory in Bangladesh.

A further 70 people are reported to have been injured in the blaze at an industrial complex in Tongi, north of the capital Dhaka.

Police said about 100 people were in the four-storey building at the time, including machine operators and
guards.

The blast was caused by an explosion in the boiler room, at the start of the working day, officials say.
Firefighters are struggling to bring the blaze under control.

Local fire and civil defence chief Anis Ahamed said there were now 20 fire trucks working to extinguish the fire.
“We have removed eight bodies to the hospital and are trying to retrieve a further two. Once the fire is out we will be able to enter the damaged structure to see if there are more bodies,” he said.

Relatives have been gathering outside the local hospital for news.
One man, Wridoy Barua, said he was looking for his brother. “I haven’t heard from him since this morning. There is no news of him.”
Low-cost manufacturing is a mainstay of Bangladesh’s economy, but a series of industrial disasters in recent years have raised concerns about safety standards, the BBC’s South Asia Editor Jill McGivering reports.
Tighter controls have been introduced, but dozens of workers still die every year, she notes.–BBC

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