At least 49 reported dead in Bangladesh food factory fire

Credit: AP

Dozens of workers have died in a factory fire outside Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, according to local TV stations.A fire service official, Russel Shikder, confirmed that a fire began on Thursday night at the five-story Hashem Food and Beverage Ltd factory in the region of Rupganj.

He said additional details were not yet clear. Ekattor TV quoted an unidentified senior fire official as saying on Friday that at least 49 people had died.

It said rescuers were trying to recover the bodies from the burned factory, which was locked from the inside when the fire began, and had recovered 17 bodies so far. Details of the cause of the fire, how many people were inside the factory and how many were missing were not immediately available.

Bangladesh has a tragic history of industrial disasters.

In 2019, a fire in the oldest part of Dhaka, a 400-year-old area cramped with apartments, shops and warehouses, left at least 67 people dead. In another fire the same year, at least 25 people died when a multistory commercial building was engulfed in flames.

In 2012, a fire raced through a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, killing at least 112 people trapped behind its locked gates.

Another fire in Old Dhaka in a house illegally storing chemicals killed at least 123 people in 2010.