More than 140 workers, mostly women, at two Bangladeshi garment factories near the capital Dhaka have fallen ill after drinking suspected contaminated water in their workplace, police said.

Sunday's development comes less than two weeks after up to 600 workers at another garment plant were rushed to hospital after falling sick due to contaminated water.

Humayun Kabir, a police inspector, told the AFP news agency that several garment workers fell sick at two garment plants at Joydevpur, an industrial town north of Dhaka.

"At least 141 of them were rushed to one hospital. Some others were taken to other hospitals. The factories were closed for the day," he said.

"Primarily we suspect the water supply of the factories could be contaminated," he added.

The incidents follow the collapse of a building housing five garment factories in April that killed 1,129 people, highlighting appalling safety conditions in Bangladesh's 4,500 garment factories.

A series of tragedies since last November when a fire killed 111 people in another factory have triggered renewed scrutiny of "made-in-Bangladesh" clothes commonly sold in the West.

Officials said the workers were engaged in making garments for Western labels, but did not immediately identify the brands.

Source: Agencies