21 killed in fire at Bangladesh garment factory

February 26th, 2010 - 5:11 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Feb 26 (IANS) At least 21 people, including 15 women, were killed and 50 injured in a major fire which broke out in a garment factory in Bangladesh’s Gazipur town, around 50 km north of Dhaka, police said Friday.
The blaze engulfed the Garib & Garib Sweater factory at around 9:30 P.M. Thursday when workers were preparing to leave, said Suman, one of the workers who escaped the fire.

At least 50 were injured, suffering burns or smoke inhalation. Of them, 20-25 were taken to hospitals, a senior police officer said.

Gazipur General Hospital’s Md Ataul Islam said, “Around 20 people were brought in, of which 11 were pronounced dead”.

While seven workers were declared dead at Tongi government hospital, three deaths were confirmed by doctors at Tairunnessa Memorial Medical College and Hospital, according to bdnews24.com. Of the 21 victims, 15 were women.

Dhaka fire control room duty officer Nazrul Islam told bdnews24.com that 10 fire units and six ambulances were rushed to the scene. It took two hours to douse the flame, though firemen were “dumping down” the fire till 1.30 A.M Friday.

The fire started on the first floor of the seven-storey building. Several workers were stuck on the second floor as the fire spread and firemen had to cut the window grills to rescue them.

The cause of fire and total number of workers present in the building at that time was yet to be ascertained.

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