Sunday 25 March 2018

Death toll in Bangladesh factory fire rises to 31

Firefighters work to put out the blaze at a packaging factory in the Tongi industrial area (AP)
Firefighters work to put out the blaze at a packaging factory in the Tongi industrial area (AP)

The death toll from a boiler explosion and subsequent fire at a packaging factory in Bangladesh has risen to 31 after more bodies were found in the debris.

Local administrator SA Alam said six more bodies were recovered on Sunday evening, while two others were found overnight as firefighters cleared the debris at the packaging factory in the Tongi industrial area outside the capital, Dhaka.

At least eight workers are still missing, two days after the explosion and fire.

Saturday was the last working day at the factory before the workers were to go on leave for a week-long holiday for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, which falls on Tuesday.

The fire at the five-storey Tampaco Foils factory spread quickly because flammable chemicals were stored at the site.

Local TV stations said about 50 people were injured. Television footage showed smoke billowing from the factory, with the fire engulfing part of the upper floors.

Factory safety is a major concern in Bangladesh, which has thousands of garment and packaging factories that supply products to global chains like Wal-Mart and H&M.

A fire at a garment factory in a Dhaka suburb killed 112 workers in 2012. A year later, a commercial complex near the capital housing five garment factories collapsed, killing 1,135 people, Bangladesh's worst industrial disaster.

It took firefighters nearly five hours to bring Saturday's blaze under control. Huge piles of burned materials and chemicals had to be removed from the building to prevent the fire from spreading further.


Press Association

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