A rescue worker walks through the rubble at a garment factory in Gazipur. Photograph: (AFP)
At least 10 people were killed and dozens injured when a boiler exploded at a garment factory in Bangladesh, authorities said.
The incident occurred late Monday on the outskirts of Dhaka.
“Nine people were killed in the blast and one died in hospital,” fire service official Palash Chandra Modak told Reuters. This number has since gone up, and this article will be updated to reflect any more changes in the death toll.
The company said the plant was functioning well and the boiler had just been serviced.
"This was an accident. Everything was fine," Mahiuddin Faruqui, company chairman and managing director informed Reuters.
"The boiler was running well. After servicing when workers were trying to restart it, it went off."
According to AFP, dozens of labourers were on site at the factory when a blast tore through the six-storey building.
"It is a terrible scene. Fire brigade officers have arrived and are doing rescue work. The factory's boiler exploded and the blast also affected other buildings near the factory," police officer Harunur Rashid told AFP.
Al Amin, a worker at a nearby garment factory, said he was attending evening prayers at a mosque some 300 yards (metres) from the factory at around 7pm (1300 GMT) when the explosion shook the whole area.
"I ran to the spot instantly and saw a huge smoke. I saw blood all over the bodies of some injured workers and instantly called the fire brigade," he told AFP.
According to factory director Mesba Faruqui, the main site was closed on Monday but a group of workers were overseeing maintenance of the boiler.
A man, who lost his daughter-in-law, cries while talking on the phone following a deadly boiler blast inside a garment factory in Gazipur, Bangladesh. (Reuters)
Bangladesh has more than 4,500 garment factories employing four million mostly female workers at a minimum monthly wage of $68.
The industry is notorious for poor workplace safety, with many of the factories lacking basic equipment such as ventilation and air coolers.
In April 2013, the nine-storey Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people in one of the world's worst industrial disasters.
(With inputs from AFP)