23 dead after Bangladesh factory blaze

  • 11/09/2016
Firefighters work to extinguish the fire (Reuters)
Firefighters work to extinguish the fire (Reuters)

A fire at a food and cigarette packaging factory in Bangladesh has killed at least 23 people and injured more than two dozen, emergency and government officials say, amid fears the toll could rise.

The cause of the fire in the Tongi industrial zone about 20km north of the capital Dhaka was not immediately known, but officials said a boiler explosion probably triggered the blaze, about 8am, as workers prepared to swap shifts.

"We cannot confirm if people are inside, but our priority is to rescue them if there is anyone," Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, a fire official at the site, said by telephone, adding that the blaze was now under control.

"There were about 100 people inside when the fire broke out," Mohammad Nayan, a worker assisting with rescue efforts, told reporters.

More than 20 firefighting teams battled to douse the flames, which also caused the partial collapse of the four-storey Tampaco Foils building, officials said.

On its website, Tampaco Foils lists major international brands, such as British American Tobacco and Nestle , among its customers.