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Fire in Bangladesh Factory Kills 22


Bodies of victims are placed at a makeshift morgue at a hospital after a fire broke out at a factory in the Tongi industy area outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sept. 10, 2016.

A fire in a factory in Bangladesh has killed at least 22 people and injured dozens of others just outside the capital, Dhaka, authorities said.

According to officials, the fire broke out Saturday after an explosion in the boiler room at the four-story building.

"Most of them had burn injuries. We sent the critically injured victims to the hospitals in Dhaka," Parvez Mia, a doctor at the Tongi state-run hospital said.

Police are still concerned other workers may still be trapped inside the Tampaco Foils Limited factory. Around 100 people were in the building when the fire started.

The manufacturing plant produces and prints plastic packaging for potato chips and household goods such as mosquito coils.

Police Inspector Sirajul Islam told AFP chemicals were allegedly stored on the ground floor. "As a result, the fire took no time to spread," Islam said adding officials were still battling the blaze that started at the beginning of a workday.

Factory electrician Mohammad Rokon said he heard the explosion and felt a tremor. "Then suddenly the ceiling started to fall on me. I almost became unconscious. But I forced myself to go out with the help of my mobile phone's flashlight," he told AFP from his hospital bed.

A committee has been formed to investigate the fire, according to an official from the Bangladesh factory inspection department.

Fires and other accidents in factories are common in Bangladesh where reports say the fire protection system is weak.

In 2013, more than 1,100 workers died in a building collapse. The incident remains as the country's worst industrial disaster.

Clothing production is an important part of the country's economy with close to $27 billion in exports during the fiscal year that ended in June.