Bangladesh factory fire death toll soars to 121: fire chief

Bangladesh factory fire death toll soars to 121: fire chief

Dhaka: The death toll from a fire at a Bangladeshi factory soared to at least 121 as rescue workers recovered 112 bodies Sunday, the national fire chief told AFP.

“We’ve found 112 dead bodies this morning,” fire brigade director general Brigadier General Abu Nayeem Mohammad Shahidullah told AFP.

“We resumed our search this morning and found the bodies lying on different floors of the factory building,” he said.

The fire broke out in the ground-floor warehouse of the multi-storey Tazreen Fashion factory 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Dhaka on Saturday evening, trapping hundreds of workers on the upper floors, police said.

Police inspector Mostofa Kamal had previously told AFP that nine workers died and about 100 workers were injured.

Kamal said many workers jumped from the factory’s upper floors to escape the flames before firefighters arrived to put the blaze out.

The cause was not immediately known but fires as a result of short circuits and shoddy electrical wiring are common in Bangladeshi garment plants, which use cheap labour to produce clothes shipped to Western countries.

At least nine people were killed and 100 other injured after a fire erupted in a garment factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on Saturday.

Witnesses say deaths could rise.

Firefighters took around five hours to put out the fire, which was erupted on the ground floor of the nine-storey building in the Ashulia industrial belt, Reuters reported.

A police official told the news agency that most of the victims died as they jumped from the building to escape the flames.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.

Bangladesh has around 4,500 garment factories that make clothes for brands including Tesco, Wal-Mart, JC Penney, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Kohl’s and Carrefour.

Readymade garments make up 80 percent of the country’s $24 billion annual exports.

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