Second Bangladesh factory fire in a week claims more lives

15 Dec 2019

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Firefighters and area residents help to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. — AP/File
Firefighters and area residents help to douse a fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. — AP/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 told AFP.

Officials do not yet know how many people were in the factory — which was just 900 square feet (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.

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 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.