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Bangladesh factory engulfed by fire, 24 dead

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At least 24 people have been killed and 50 injured after a fire engulfed a packaging factory north of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

The Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported on Saturday that the fire erupted due to a boiler explosion at the Tampako Packaging Factory in the industrial town of Tongi, 20km north of the capital.

Citing hospital officials, the paper said the bodies of 19 people were recovered from the building while five others succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment.

Michael Shipper, the secretary of the Labour and Employment Ministry, also told Al Jazeera that the death toll stood at 22.
About 100 people are believed to have been working at the building when flames tore through the four-storey factory.

A series of deadly incidents have raised concern over safety standards in the South Asian country’s factories.

“What I have seen here is an industry with bad safety provisions,” Shaidul Haq, the inspector general of Bangladesh police told reporters gathered in the capital.

“We have to look into whether the factory had proper permission or proper documents.”

Working conditions have been described as notoriously poor, with little enforcement of safety laws, while overcrowding and locked fire doors are common.

A fire at a plastics factory last year killed 13, and in 2013 more than 1,100 people died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse, Bangladesh’s worst industrial accident.

[Source: Al Jazeera]
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