At least 52 people have died in a fire that ravaged a food and drink factory outside the capital of Bangladesh, firefighters said on Friday.
The fire started Thursday night at the five-story Hashem Food and Beverage Ltd. factory. in Rupganj, just outside Dhaka. Police initially took the toll of three dead, but then discovered piles of bodies on Friday afternoon after the fire was extinguished.
In addition, at least 26 workers were injured when they jumped from upper floors as the fire engulfed the building, United News of Bangladesh reported,
Debasish Bardhan, deputy director of fire and civil defense, said 52 bodies have been recovered inside the plant and rescue operations are continuing. He said the top two floors had yet to be searched.
The main outlet of the plant, which processes juices, soda and other food products, has been locked from the inside, he said.
Information on how many people were in the plant and who were missing was not immediately available.
“At the moment, we only have these details. After searching the upper floors, we will be able to get a full picture, ”Bardhan said.
Victims in white body bags were crammed into a fleet of ambulances as relatives mourned outside.
Earlier, family members clashed with police as they waited for the night without a word on the fate of their loved ones.
The government ordered an investigation into the cause of the fire.
Bangladesh has a history of deadly factory fires. They are often attributed to the security breaches that still plague the South Asian country despite its rapid economic growth.