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At least 25 killed in Bangladesh factory blaze

12-15-2010 08:41 BJT

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A devastating blaze has ripped through a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. The accident has killed at least 25 people and injured more than 100. The government has formed a probe committee to investigate the cause of the fire.

The fire started in a 10-story factory owned by local business giant Hameem Group in the Ashulia industrial zone,just outside Dhaka.

The blaze broke out on the 9th floor during lunch break. Witnesses say a gate on a stairwell was locked, trapping people inside the factory.

The factory mainly produces T-shirts for international brands.An official of the factory says about 5-thousand people work at the factory, but most were outside buying lunch when the fire started.

Factory worker Kader said, "Workers from Gate No.1 jumped down. About 50 to 60 workers jumped from this place."

Soldiers and police cordoned off the building as firefighters continued their search.Officials predict the death toll will rise.

It is not immediately clear what caused the blaze.But the government has already formed a five-member probe committee, which has been asked to submit its investigate report within seven days.

Smoke rises from a Hamim Group garment factory at Ashulia. A
raging fire on Tuesday tore through a huge Bangladeshi garment
factory that makes clothes for Western shops including Gap,
killing at least 25 workers and injuring 100 more.(AFP/Munir
Uz Zaman)

While initial reactions seem to support the belief it was an accident, some suspect arson.

Interior Minister Shahara Khatun said after visiting the site that her

ministry would investigate whether it was related to recent violent protests at textile factories over wages.

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