| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Fire breaks out in Bangladesh factory, 3 killed and 30 injured

A massive fire engulfed in a factory in Bangladesh killing three people and injuring at least 30 with some people jumping from the upper floors to escape the fire, police said.

It was unclear how many people were trapped inside, though distraught relatives outside and other factory workers said they feared that others may have not escaped.

Fires are common in Bangladesh due to lax enforcement of safety rules. In February 2019 70 people died when an inferno ripped through several Dhaka apartment blocks.

Police and witnesses said the fire broke out at Hashem Food and Beverage factory in Rupganj, an industrial town outside Dhaka, about 5:00 pm Thursday (1100 GMT) and was still raging on Friday morning.

“Three people have died after they sustained burn injuries,” Jayedul Alam, regional police chief, told AFP.

At least 30 people were injured including some who jumped from the upper floor after the fire quickly raced through the six-storey factory, police inspector Sheikh Kabirul Islam said.

Police initially said dozens of workers were still missing but later retracted and said they were unsure how many were unaccounted for.

Firefighters rescued 25 people from the roof of the factory, which produced noodles and drinks, but could not confirm further casualties.

“Once the fire is under control, we will conduct a search and rescue operation inside. Then we can confirm any further casualties, if any,” Debashish Bardhan, fire service spokesman, told AFP.

Mohammad Saiful, a factory worker who escaped the fire, said there were dozens of people inside when the blaze began.

“On the third floor, gates on both stairwells were closed. Other colleagues are saying there were 48 people inside. I don’t know what happened to them,” he said.

Mamun, another worker, said he and another 13 workers ran to the roof after the fire broke out in the ground floor and black smoke covered the whole factory.

“Fire fighters brought us down by using rope,” he told reporters.

“We came here because my niece was not receiving our phone calls for a while. And now the phone is not ringing at all. We are worried,” he said.

  • AFP