Bangladesh's worst-ever factory blaze kills over 100

DHAKA Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:03pm IST

1 of 3. Firefighters try to control a fire in a garment factory in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka November 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Biraj

DHAKA (Reuters) - Fire swept through a garment factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital killing more than 100 people, the fire brigade said on Sunday, in the country's worst-ever factory blaze.

Working conditions at Bangladeshi factories are notoriously poor, with little enforcement of safety laws, and overcrowding and locked fire doors are common. The cause of this fire was not immediately known.

The blaze at the nine-storey Tazreen Fashion factory in the Ashulia industrial belt of Dhaka started on the ground floor late on Saturday and spread, trapping hundreds of workers.

"So far, the confirmed death toll is 109, including nine who died by jumping from the building," Mizanur Rahman, deputy director of the fire brigade, told Reuters.

Witnesses said the workers, mostly women, ran for safety as the fire engulfed the plant but were unable to get through narrow exits.

"Many jumped out from the windows and were injured, or died on the spot," Milon, a resident, said.

Most of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition and authorities had started burials while mourning relatives scrambled to find their loved ones, officials and witnesses said.

Unofficial sources put the number of dead at more than 120. Most of the bodies were found on the second floor, Rahman said.

Bangladesh has around 4,500 garment factories and is the world's biggest exporter of clothing after China, with garments making up 80 percent of its $24 billion annual exports.

This was the highest ever death toll in a Bangladeshi factory fire. In 2006, 84 people were killed in a blaze in the southern port of Chittagong where fire exits had been blocked.

More than 300 factories near the capital shut for almost a week earlier this year as workers demanded higher wages and better working conditions.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Apple Result

Apple Result

Apple's iPhone sales beat Street but iPad volumes slide.  Full Article 

Nadella's Paycheck

Nadella's Paycheck

New Microsoft CEO Nadella's pay tops $80 mln with big stock awards.  Full Article 

Deregulation Impact

Deregulation Impact

Private fuel retailers to dip toe, not dive back, into India  Full Article 

Airport Accident

Airport Accident

Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow plane accident - airport spokeswoman.  Full Article 

Gold Import

Gold Import

RBI will not change gold import rules - sources  Full Article 

Idea Results

Idea Results

Idea Cellular Q2 profit up 69 percent  Full Article 

An RBI First

An RBI First

RBI releases minutes of financial stability council's Aug meet  Full Article 

IBM Earnings

IBM Earnings

IBM ditches 2015 operating EPS target, shares slump 7 pct  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage