Families allege murder as Bangladesh factory fire toll rises to 31 | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Families allege murder as Bangladesh factory fire toll rises to 31

world Updated: Sep 12, 2016 14:43 IST
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Firefighters and volunteers work to put out a fire at a packaging factory in the Tongi industrial area, outside Dhaka, on September 11, 2016. A boiler exploded and triggered the fire at the five-story Tampaco Foils Ltd. factory the day before.(AP)

Relatives of workers killed in a fire at a packaging factory in Bangladesh have filed a murder case against the owner, police said on Monday, as the death toll from the disaster rose to 31.

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

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

Read | Explosion and fire at Bangladesh factory kills at least 25

“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. Any decision on whether to bring charges will 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.

Firefighters work to put out a fire at Tampaco Foils Ltd. factory in Tongi industrial area outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, on September 11, 2016. (AP)
A man consoles a woman who lost a relative in a fire at the packaging factory in Tongi industrial area. Relatives of the accident victims have filed a murder case against the owners of the factory. (AP)

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 US 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 Limited and Nestle Bangladesh Limited, according to a company website.