The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Labour rights groups say Bangladesh has around 4,000 textile factories and many of them are prone to fires as a result of poor safety standards.

The textile industry in Gazipur district, located 50km north of the capital Dhaka, is one of the country's most important, accounting for more than $10 billion in exports annually, or 80 per cent of total exports mainly to the United States and Europe.