Death toll in Bangladesh textile mill fire rises to 51

Rescuers recovered 45 more bodies from the charred debris of a textile mill Friday, raising the death toll from a devastating fire to 51 in southeastern Bangladesh, officials said.

The fire that broke out late Thursday at the Bangladeshi-owned KTS Textile Mill also injured more than 150 workers, 82 of whom were hospitalized, doctors at Chittagong Medical College Hospital said.

More than 1,000 workers, many of them women, were inside, said Abu Tayeb, an official of a textile manufacturers' and exporters' association. Most managed to leave the building on their own, he said.

Rescuers were sifting through the rubble to look for more survivors or bodies at the three-story building inside an industrial park outside Chittagong, a port city 215 kilometers (135 miles) southeast of the national capital, Dhaka.

Most of the victims were women, who suffocated from inhaling smoke or burns, a doctor at the medical college said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The factory had only one main exit, and workers had to scramble through a lone narrow stairway to escape, Rashidul Islam, a fire official said quoting survivors, reports the AP.

I.L.