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Asia

Several killed in fire at Bangladesh garment factory

Several people have been killed in a fire at a garment factory in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka. Nearby, rescuers continued to pull victims from the rubble of a factory collapse two weeks ago that left more than 900 dead.

At least eight people were killed when the fire swept through an 11-story building housing a clothing factory and apartments in the industrial district the capital Dhaka.

Police said most of the workers had gone home at the time the fire broke out.

Deadly fire in Bangladesh

Local police chief Khalilur Rahman told news agency AFP the victims included the factory's owner, his four staff, a senior police officer, and a low-level police official. He said the identity of the eighth victim remains unclear.

The fire reportedly burnt large parts of the first and second floors housing the Tung Hai Group, a large garment exporter, and the third floor which housed apartments. The cause remains unclear.

The fire hits Bangladesh's textile industry in the wake of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, some 20 miles (30 kilometers) northwest of Dhaka, which housed five garment factories. On Thursday the death toll rose above 900, with rescuers continuing to pull bodies from the rubble.

The government in Dhaka said Wednesday it had closed 18 garment factories for safety reasons in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza disaster.

Bangladesh is the world's second-largest apparel maker and the industry accounts for around 80 percent of the country's exports. It has seen a number of deadly incidents in recent years, including a fire outside Dhaka in November that killed 111 people.

ccp/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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