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By Anis Ahmed and Ruma Paul
DHAKA Nov 25 Fire swept through a garment
factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital killing more
than 100 people, the fire brigade said on Sunday, in the
country's worst-ever factory blaze.
Working conditions at Bangladeshi factories are notoriously
poor, with little enforcement of safety laws, and overcrowding
and locked fire doors are common. The cause of this fire was not
The blaze at the nine-storey Tazreen Fashion factory in the
Ashulia industrial belt of Dhaka started on the ground floor
late on Saturday and spread, trapping hundreds of workers.
"So far, the confirmed death toll is 109, including nine who
died by jumping from the building," Mizanur Rahman, deputy
director of the fire brigade, told Reuters.
Witnesses said the workers, mostly women, ran for safety as
the fire engulfed the plant but were unable to get through
"Many jumped out from the windows and were injured, or died
on the spot," Milon, a resident, said.
Most of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition and
authorities had started burials while mourning relatives
scrambled to find their loved ones, officials and witnesses
Unofficial sources put the number of dead at more than 120.
Most of the bodies were found on the second floor, Rahman said.
Bangladesh has around 4,500 garment factories and is the
world's biggest exporter of clothing after China, with garments
making up 80 percent of its $24 billion annual exports.
This was the highest ever death toll in a Bangladeshi
factory fire. In 2006, 84 people were killed in a blaze in the
southern port of Chittagong where fire exits had been blocked.
More than 300 factories near the capital shut for almost a
week earlier this year as workers demanded higher wages and
better working conditions.
(Editing by Nick Macfie)