At least 13 people were killed and 21 others critically injured in a devastating fire that ripped through an illegal plastic factory in Bangladesh, police said on Thursday. The fire swept through the Prime Patent Plastic Limited on Wednesday afternoon at Keraniganj, on the outskirts of Dhaka, police was quoted as saying by the bdnews24.com.
Of the injured, 13 workers died and 21 others were being treated for injuries at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Thursday, the report said. "Many of the injured are still being treated nd are not out of danger," burn unit's director Samontalal Sen said.
The Fire Service and Civil Defence brought the blaze at the factory under control around 5:45pm on Wednesday after it originated around 4:30pm, the agency's Director General Sazzad Haustoria said. Fire officials said that most of the dead and injured were workers of the factory who could not make their way out as the blaze broke out while it took them hours to extinguish the inferno.
The cause of the fire could not be immediately determined by the authorities. The factory had also caught fire earlier in February, the Dhaka Tribune reported. However, one of the injured workers, said the fire broke out at a room where eight cylinders of inflammable gas were kept. He added that there was a leak in the lines, the Daily Star reported.
Around 300 people worked in two shifts at the factory. Around 150 people, including many women, were working when the fire started, the worker said. The company, which was owned by Nazrul Islam, used the tin-roofed factory to produce one-time plates and cups, the report added.
While visiting the site on Wednesday, State Minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told the reporters that the plastic factory was not approved for operation, the Dhaka Tribune reported. A probe committee has been formed by the fire service to look into the cause of the fire and its extent of damages.