RUPGANJ, Bangladesh: A massive fire at a Bangladeshi factory killed three people and injured at least 30, with some people jumping from upper floors to escape the fire, police said.
It was unclear how many people were trapped inside, although distressed family members outside and other factory workers said they feared others had not escaped.
Fires are common in Bangladesh due to lax enforcement of safety rules. In February 2019, 70 people were killed when an inferno swept through several apartment blocks in Dhaka.
Police and witnesses said the fire broke out at the Hashem food and beverage factory in Rupganj, an industrial city on the outskirts of Dhaka, around 5:00 pm on Thursday (1100 GMT) and was still in full swing on Thursday. Friday.
“Three people have died after being burned,” Jayedul Alam, the regional police chief, told AFP.
At least 30 people were injured, including some who jumped from the upper deck after the fire quickly spread through the six-story factory, said police inspector Sheikh Kabirul Islam.
Police initially said dozens of workers were still missing, but later backtracked, saying they weren’t sure how many were missing.
Firefighters rescued 25 people from the roof of the factory, which produced noodles and drinks, but could not confirm any more victims.
“Once the fire is under control, we will carry out a search and rescue operation inside. Then we can confirm if there are more victims,” Debashish Bardhan, a spokesman for the fire service, told AFP.
Mohammad Saiful, a factory worker who escaped the fire, said there were dozens of people inside when the fire started.
“On the third floor, the doors to both stairs were closed. Other colleagues say 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 entire factory.
“The firefighters brought us down using a rope,” he told reporters.
As clouds of smoke billowed out of the factory building, hundreds of distraught people gathered outside to hear updates from their relatives.
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.