Death Toll Rises to 25 in Bangladesh's Garment Fire
    2010-12-15 19:55:13     Xinhua      Web Editor: Guo
The death toll in Tuesday's devastating garment factory fire on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka has risen to 25, district administration chief said on Wednesday.

"The number of workers confirmed dead rose to 25 on Wednesday," Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka, Mohibul Haque, told Xinhua News Agency.

He said 40-45 workers suffered injuries following the devastating fire, which blazed for more than three hours before it was brought under control.

Condition of two of the injured is stated to be critical, he added.

Most of the injured, according to the witnesses, suffered burn injuries while others got hurt after jumping from the high-rise factory building.

The fire broke out on the 9th floor of the 10-story factory building on Tuesday afternoon, trapping dozens of workers who were busy manufacturing clothes for many famous U.S. and European brands.

An official of the factory, which belongs to leading local Ha-mim Group, said on condition of anonymity there were around 5,000 workers working in the factory. Fortunately, most of them were outside for lunch while the fire broke at around 1:00 p.m. local time, he said.

Bangladeshi Home Minister Shahara Khatun said on Tuesday evening that the government has formed a five-member probe committee to investigate the cause of the fire. The committee was asked to submit its investigation report by seven days, he added.

Fire accident in Bangladesh's thousands of factories, which employ over 3 million workers, with about 80 percent of them women, is not a rare scene. A devastating fire at the Garib & Garib Newaj company factory in Bangladesh in February this year killed 23 workers and injured another 50 people.

According to data of Bangladesh's Export Promotion Bureau, export earnings from garments, including knitwear and woven, in 2009-2010 fiscal year (July 2009-June 2010) stood at 12.50 billion U.S. dollars, about 77.1 percent of the total export income of Bangladesh.

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