A fire in a Bangladesh food factory has killed at least 43 people, police said on Friday, as emergency services brought out bodies even as the building was still in flames.
The blaze broke out in the factory in Rupganj, an industrial town 25km (15 miles) east of capital Dhaka, on Thursday afternoon and was still burning nearly 24 hours later.
Many of the 30 injured leapt for their lives from the upper floors of the complex.
It was unclear how many people were trapped inside, though distraught relatives outside and other factory workers said they feared that others might not have escaped.
Mohammad Saiful, a factory worker who escaped, said dozens of people were inside when the blaze erupted.
“On the third floor, gates on both stairwells were closed. Other colleagues are saying there were 48 people inside. I don’t know what happened to them,” he said.
Police initially gave a death toll of three, but it rose dramatically as firefighters reached the upper floors and started bringing out dozens of bodies of trapped workers.
The charred victims were piled in a fleet of ambulances to take them to mortuaries amid anguished shouts and tears from people watching in the streets.
Police dispersed hundreds of people who blocked nearby roads and clashed with officers.
Fires are common in Bangladesh due to the lax enforcement of safety rules. In February 2019, 70 people died when an inferno ripped through several Dhaka apartment blocks.