Fire sweeps through factory in Bangladesh killing eight

Thursday 09 May 2013 23.03
1 of 4
A Bangladeshi garment worker holds up burnt cloth inside the gutted factory in Dhaka
A Bangladeshi garment worker holds up burnt cloth inside the gutted factory in Dhaka
The remains of a first aid box inside the factory
The remains of a first aid box inside the factory
A Bangladeshi police official sifts through burnt clothes
A Bangladeshi police official sifts through burnt clothes
Bangladeshi firefighters try to extinguish the blaze
Bangladeshi firefighters try to extinguish the blaze

Eight people were killed when a fire swept through a clothing factory in Bangladesh.

The fire took place in an industrial district of Dhaka.

It comes as the death toll from the Rana Plaza building collapse on 24 April rose to nearly 900.

The latest fire, in an 11-storey building in the Mirpur industrial district, broke out at a factory belonging to the Tung Hai Group, a large garment exporter.

Fire service official Bhazan Sarker said: "The factory was closed and all the workers had left the premises an hour earlier."

Mr Sarker said that the Bangladeshi managing director of the company and a senior police officer were among the dead.

The others killed were friends and personal staff of the factory boss, officials said.

Tung Hai Group says on its website that it has more than 1,000 employees and its customers include major Western retailers.

The company makes products including cardigans, jumpers and pyjamas.

The latest fire comes amid global attention on safety standards in Bangladesh's booming garment industry following the catastrophic collapse of Rana Plaza.

It was the world's deadliest industrial accident since the Bhopal disaster in India in 1984.

Roughly 2,500 people were rescued from that building, and there was no official estimate of the numbers still missing.

The Bangladesh government said it had shut down 18 garment factories for safety reasons following the collapse of Rana Plaza.

The building housed five garment factories making clothes for Western brands.

Salvage teams are still pulling bodies from the rubble of the building in Savar, around 30km northwest of Dhaka.

The Bangladeshi government has blamed the owners and builders of the eight-storey complex.

They claim they used shoddy building materials, including substandard rods, bricks and cement, and did not obtain the necessary clearances.

Bangladesh's garment industry accounts for 80% of the poor south Asian country's exports.

It has seen a series of deadly accidents, including a fire in November that killed 112 people.