Bangladesh Factory Fire Death Toll Rises Getty Images

Bangladesh Factory Fire Death Toll Rises

Around 100 people were working at the factory on Sept. when the fire caused by an explosion in the boiler room tore through the four-storey structure on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka. As of today 31 people are confirmed dead. 

The death toll from a fire at the Tampaco Foils Ltd. , which packages food and cigarette products for local and foreign brands, rose to 31. 

Around 100 people were working at the factory on Sept. when the fire caused by an explosion in the boiler room tore through the four-storey structure on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka.

Another 12 people are missing. This disaster is the worst since the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment complex in 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people.

The government has launched an investigation into what caused the fire, but police in the industrial town of Tongi, where the Tampaco Foils Ltd. factory was located, said bereaved relatives had already filed a private lawsuit.

"A murder case was filed by relatives of a dead worker against eight people, including the owner and his wife," Tongi police chief Firoz Talukdar said.

Police said they would launch a separate investigation into the murder allegation made by the family. Any decision on whether to bring charges would have to be taken by a court.

Talukdar said firefighters and soldiers engaged in search and rescue efforts had dug out two more bodies, but there was little hope of finding any survivors.

Around 70 people were also injured, some critically, in the fire at the factory, which packages food and cigarette products for local and foreign brands.

The blaze is the latest in a series of deadly accidents to hit impoverished Bangladesh, whose $27-billion garment industry is the world's second largest behind China's.

The Rana Plaza tragedy triggered international outrage and successfully put pressure on U.S. and European clothing brands to improve deplorable safety conditions at the factories which supply them.

The Tampaco factory supplies multinational and domestic brands including British-American Tobacco Bangladesh Ltd. and Nestle Bangladesh Ltd.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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