At least 23 dead after Bangladesh factory explosion

A fire in a factory in Bangladesh has killed at least 10 people and injured dozens just outside the capital, Dhaka, authorities said.

Fifty people are hospitalized with injuries, and the death toll was expected to rise as rescue efforts continued, according to the local police chief, Harunur Rashid, CNN reported.

Around 100 people were working at the site when the fire started in the boiler room of the factory near the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

Fire officials working at the scene said that the explosion was huge and that the fire triggered by the blast spread quickly because flammable chemicals were stored at the factory.

Police are still concerned other workers may still be trapped inside the factory. "I am simultaneously feeling lucky and heartbroken", he said, tears streaming down his face as he helped rush the many injured to hospital, blood staining his T-shirt.

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"There are still flames here and there as there are a lot of chemicals in the factory", senior fire service official Masudur Rahman told Reuters.

The Tampaco Foils factory produces packaging for tobacco and other consumer products, with British American Tobacco and food giant Nestle among its clients. In response two parallel global safety coalitions were created to inspect thousands of garment factories and help invest in building and fire-safety improvements.

The cause was not immediately known, but officials said a boiler explosion was the probable trigger. Many employees were still stuck inside the building at the time of the fire, he said.

Saturday's fire is one of the worst industrial accidents in Bangaldesh since 2013 when a building collapse claimed over 1000 lives.

A series of deadly incidents have raised concern over safety standards in the South Asian country's factories.

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