World News

Tuesday 16 September 2014

112 die in Bangladesh factory fire

Published 25/11/2012 | 04:34

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Firefighters battle a blaze at a garment factory in the Savar neighbourhood of Dhaka, Bangladesh (AP/Hasan Raza)

At least 112 people were killed when a fire raced through a garment factory just outside of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka.

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The blaze broke out late on Saturday night at the eight-storey factory operated by Tazreen Fashions Ltd, a subsidiary of the Tuba Group, which supplies Walmart and other major retailers in the US and Europe.

By Sunday morning, firefighters had recovered 100 bodies, said fire department Operations Director Major Mohammad Mahbub. He said another 12 people who had suffered injuries after jumping from the building to escape the fire later died at hospitals. The death toll could rise as the search for victims was continuing, he said.

Local media reported that up to 124 people were killed in the fire. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, and authorities have ordered an investigation.

Army soldiers and paramilitary border guards were deployed to help police keep the situation under control as thousands of onlookers and anxious relatives of the factory workers gathered at the scene, Mahbub said. He would not say how many people were still missing.

The Tuba Group is a major Bangladeshi garment exporter whose clients include Walmart, Carrefour and IKEA, according to its website. Its factories export garments to the US, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, among other countries. The Tazreen factory, opened in 2009 and employing about 1,700 people, makes polo shirts, fleece jackets and T-shirts.

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