| DHAKA, Sept 11
DHAKA, Sept 11 A fire at a food and cigarette
packaging factory in Bangladesh that killed at least 24 people
and injured more than two dozen others on Saturday, spread into
the storage area of the building through the night, according to
"We could not start search operations as it took until late
into yesterday night to control the fire in the building," Ajit
Kumar Bhoumik, a senior official of the fire service said early
"At night the fire spread to other floors where huge amounts
of chemicals and other flammable items were stored for use in
packaging," Bhoumik told Reuters from the site by phone.
Fire officials said late on Saturday they had been unable to
enter the building and search through the debris, amid fears
that the death toll could rise further.
The cause of the fire in the Tongi industrial zone about 20
km (12 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka, was not immediately
known, but officials said a boiler explosion probably triggered
the blaze. It happened as workers prepared to swap shifts in the
The fire is the latest in a series of industrial accidents
in the South Asian country, which is the world's No. 2 garment
exporter behind China. It is also the worst industrial accident
in Bangladesh since the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building
outside Dhaka that killed over 1,100 workers, who were mainly
employed in the garment industry.
The blaze on Saturday at Tampaco Foils, caused the partial
collapse of the factory building, which packages various items,
including food and cigarettes, for several local companies and
global brands, such as British American Tobacco and
"There were some 100 people inside when the fire broke out,"
said one Tampaco Foils official.
(Writing by Euan Rocha; Editing by Martin Howell)