A boiler exploded and triggered a fire at a packaging factory near Bangladesh’s capital on Saturday, killing at least 21 people and injuring dozens, officials said.
Several bodies were recovered from the five-story Tampaco Foils Ltd. factory in the Tongi industrial area outside Dhaka, fire official Mohammed Rafiquzzaman said. Mohammed Parvez, a doctor at Tongi Hospital, said 17 dead bodies were in the hospital’s mortuary and four were at the state-run Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Fire officials working at the scene said that the explosion was huge and that the fire triggered by the blast spread quickly because flammable chemicals were stored at the factory.
Factory safety is a major concern in Bangladesh, which has thousands of garment and packaging factories that supply products to global clothing chains like Wal-Mart and H&M. In 2012, a fire at a garment factory in a Dhaka suburb killed 112 workers. A year later, a commercial complex near Dhaka housing five garment factories collapsed, killing 1,135 people, Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster.