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At least 52 killed, over 50 injured in Bangladesh factory fire - read timeline on industrial disasters

Rescue workers and relatives alleged that the front gate and only exit of the factory remained locked at the time of the fire. At least 52 have died.

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A massive fire broke out at a six-storey factory outside Bangladesh's capital city Dhaka killing at least 52 people and injuring over 50 others. The fire broke out at around 5 pm on Thursday at the Shezan juice factory in Naryanganj's Rupganj, according to fire officials.

It is suspected that the fire originated from the ground floor of the building and spread quickly due to the presence of chemicals and plastic bottles. According to media reports, several workers jumped off the building to escape the devastating fire which led to further injuries and fatalities.

Eighteen firefighting units were working to douse the fire. Several workers are said to be missing. Of the many missing, the identities of 44 missing workers have been confirmed, a media report said. Hundreds of distraught relatives and other workers waited anxiously outside the food factory in search of their loved ones who are still missing. 

Rescue workers and relatives alleged that the front gate and only exit of the factory remained locked at the time of the fire. They also claimed that the building had no proper fire safety measures in place.

A five-member probe committee has been formed by the district administration to look into the incident.

This is not the first time such an incident has occurred in Bangladesh. There has been a series of disasters in industrial complexes and apartment buildings that have tarnished Bangladesh's industrial safety standards.

Industrial disasters

In 2013, the biggest of them all, the Rana Plaza disaster killed more than 1,100 people when a nine-storey complex collapsed.

In 2012, a fire raced through a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka killing at least 112 people trapped behind its locked gates.

Another fire in Old Dhaka in a house illegally storing chemicals killed at least 123 people in 2010.

In February 2019, at least 70 people died when an inferno ripped through Dhaka apartments where chemicals were illegally stored.

In another fire the same year at least 25 people died when a multistory commercial building was engulfed in flames.

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