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Boiler blast kills 10 garment workers in Bangladesh

BOILER BLAST KILLS 10 GARMENT WORKERS IN BANGLADESH

An explosion in a four-story garment factory in Bangladesh killed 10 workers and injured at least 50, emergency officials said Tuesday.

The blast occurred on Monday evening in the boiler of Multifabs Ltd. located in Gazipur district, near the capital city Dhaka.

Rescue officials said that the fire broke out at 7:40 p.m. local time (0140GMT) when workers were inside the factory.

"The explosion took place on the ground floor, and then spread to the second floor of the building," Mizanur Rahman, an officer at the Gazipur fire station said.

"Firefighters, with help from locals, were able to douse the fire by 9:00 p.m. (0300GMT)," he added.

"Bodies have been handed over to family members of the victims," S.M. Kamruzzaman, a police officer said.

Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, and the factory has been closed for an unlimited period, local media reported.

In 2013, Rana Plaza, a complex in Dhaka which housed five garment factories collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people in the worst industrial disaster of the country.

Cheap labor and duty-free access to foreign markets have made Bangladeshi garment exports a $28 billion industry, a lifeline for its economy, according to figures from 2013.

But despite this boom, working conditions remain dismal, with minimum wages as low as $68 a month.

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