Deadly fire at Bangladesh food processing factory | Bangladesh News


Massive blaze kills at least three people and injures 30 others, with some people jumping from the upper floors to escape the fire.

A massive blaze in a Bangladesh factory has killed at least three people and injured 30 others, 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 might not have escaped.

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

Relatives of the victims mourn at the site of the fire [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

Police and witnesses said the fire broke out at Hashem Food and Beverage factory in Rupganj, an industrial town 25km (15 miles) east of capital Dhaka, at about 5pm (11:00 GMT) on Thursday and was still raging on Friday morning.

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

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.

A firefighter tries to extinguish the fire inside the factory building [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

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

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 13 other workers ran to the roof after the fire broke out on the ground floor and black smoke covered the whole factory.

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

As clouds of smoke billowed from the factory building, hundreds of distraught people gathered outside to find out updates of their kins.

One of them was Nazrul Islam.

“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.

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