Eight killed in Dhaka garment factory fire

Dhaka, May 9 (IANS) At least eight people, including a senior police officer, were killed and 10 others injured in a fire Thursday at an 11-storeyed garment factory here in the Bangladeshi capital, officials said.

Fire service official Bhan Sarker told Xinhua the blaze broke out at the closed Tung Hai Sweater Ltd garment factory in Mirpur around 11 p.m. Wednesday and fire-fighters managed to douse the blaze around 3 a.m. Thursday.

Several people were rescued alive from the building and rushed to hospitals.

The Daily Star, however, put the toll at seven. About 200-300 workers were at the factory till 10 p.m..

Five of the dead have been identified as managing director of the factory Mahbubur Rahman, Additional Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police Z.A. Morshed, Sohel Mostafa Swapan, Syed Nasim Reza and Emdadul.

Fire-fighters said most of them were found on the staircase of the building and all had suffocated to death.

Fire officials have not yet been able to ascertain the cause of the fire, but most garment factory fires in Bangladesh in the past have resulted from electrical short circuit.

Bangladesh is one of the top garment exporters in the world and around four million workers are employed in the industry.

In a devastating incident involving a garment factory building, more than 900 people died after an eight-storey building collapsed in Dhaka in April. More than 2,400 people were rescued.

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