Factory fire kills 10 in Bangladesh - GulfToday

Factory fire kills 10 in Bangladesh


It was the second deadly industrial blaze in four days. File

At least 10 people died in a factory fire outside the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, officials said on Sunday, the second deadly industrial blaze in four days.

The flames engulfed a small fan factory in the Gazipur industrial district on Sunday evening, with firefighters extinguishing the blaze after a two-and-a-half hour battle.

They found 10 bodies in the charred structure and were searching for more possible casualties, fire service spokesman Zillur Rahman said.

Another official said several people were injured but provided no exact figures.

Officials do not yet know how many people were in the factory − which was just 84 square metres in size − when the blaze took hold.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

The latest incident followed the death of at least 17 people when an illegal plastic factory outside Dhaka went up in flames on Thursday.

The fire occurred Wednesday at the Prime Plastic Industries factory in Keraniganj, said Mohammaed Bacchu Mia, a police official stationed at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

He said one person died at the scene and 12 others succumbed to their injuries in the hospital on Thursday. Doctors at the hospital said some of the injured were in critical condition.

The fire department was investigating the cause of the blaze.

Nasrul Hamid, a lawmaker from the area, said the tin-shed factory had no approval from authorities to operate. Some of the workers told local media that an explosion of a gas cylinder may have caused the fire.

 Industrial fires are common in Bangladesh, especially in the dry winter season, due to lax enforcement of safety codes. In February this year, a blaze in a historic Mughal building in an old part of Dhaka killed at least 70 people and injured dozens.

In another fire in March, at least 25 people died when a multistory commercial building was engulfed in flames.

In November 2012, at least 111 people died after a fire at a garment factory making apparel for Western retailers, in one of the country’s most devastating fires.

Another fire in Old Dhaka in a house illegally storing chemicals killed at least 123 people in 2010.

The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Association, a non-profit group, says at least 16,000 fires across Bangladesh in the last decade killed about 1,590 people, according to data compiled from the fire department and other government and media reports.


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