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Eight killed in Bangladesh's Aswad Composite Mills fire
Wednesday October 9, 2013 8:06 PM, IANS

At least eight bodies have been recovered by the authorities after a fire ravaged a garment factory in Bangladesh's Gazipur district Tuesday night, media reported Wednesday.

The inferno swept through Aswad Composite Mills owned by Palmal Group at Maona in Sreepur, The Daily Star reported, adding that at least 50 people were injured in the incident.

The fire originated from the dyeing section of the factory and the flames soon spread to at least two floors, the daily reported citing eyewitnesses.

Factory director Emdad Hossain said 170 workers were on duty on the two floors when the fire broke out. The cause of the blaze is yet to be confirmed.

While the bodies of the factory's assistant general manager Rashiduzzaman Mandal and two other people have been identified, the badly charred bodies of the other victims have been kept at a health facility for identification.

Authorities have deployed additional law enforcers in the area in view of last month's violent protests for a hike in minimum wages and safer working conditions in key apparel hubs on the outskirts of the national capital Dhaka.

The workers have long been demanding higher wages and safe working conditions but their protests have become more frequent after five factories collapsed in April, killing at least 1,130 people in Savar, about 25 km from Dhaka.

The tragedy revived questions about the commitment of factory owners and their global buyers to provide safe working conditions in the $20 billion annual export sector, which comprises about 5,000 factories employing more than four million workers, 80 percent of whom are women.

Bangladesh is the world's second largest garments exporter after China, producing global brands for customers around the world.

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