New Delhi, India
New Delhi, India

A fire that broke out in a suspected illegal garment factory on the outskirts of the Indian capital, New Delhi, killed at least 13 workers as they slept early Friday in the building.

Uttar Pradesh state authorities said nine other workers were injured, four of them seriously. 

The early-morning blaze started in the factory, a converted house used to make leather jackets, with a narrow stairway to the basement where the workers slept.

A dozen fire engines brought the flames under control after several hours. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Deadly incidents such as factory fires are common in India, known for its poor record regarding workplace safety. Watchdog entities say South Asia's lucrative garment industry has an alarming safety record as the rules are routinely flouted.

Last month, a huge explosion at a fireworks factory in the southern state of Tamil Nadu left eight workers dead.

In November 2013, a fire at a New Delhi factory where leather bags were being stitched killed six workers. Some were trapped inside the building and burned beyond recognition.

In May 2014, a massive blaze in a firecracker workshop in central Madhya Pradesh killed 15 people.