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November 24, 2012

Bangladesh Factory Fire Kills At Least 110

by VOA News

Fire officials say a lack of emergency exits contributed to the deaths of at least 110 people, when a fire swept through a garment factory in Bangladesh.

Authorities said Sunday that the blaze broke out on the ground floor of a multi-story building the night before in a factory outside the capital, Dhaka.

Firefighters fought the blaze for several hours, while many workers remained trapped on the upper floors of the building.  Some workers jumped to their deaths before authorities arrived on the scene.

​​Officials say they are not sure what caused the fire and that they are investigating.  A director for the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity told the French news agency that the blaze was the deadliest in the history of the country's apparel industry.

Bangladesh has about 4,000 garment factories that make clothes for international brands.  The country earns about $20 billion annually from exporting clothing.

Meanwhile, authorities say the girders of an overpass that was under construction in southeastern Bangladesh have collapsed, killing at least 11 people.

Officials say the girders crashed Saturday evening in the port city of Chittagong.

Police say dozens of people are missing. 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.