Early Morning Factory Fire Topples 5-Story Building in Bangladesh

A boiler explosion fueled by flammable chemicals claimed the lives of at least 23 people just as overnight workers were ending their shift.

Bangladeshi firefighters work to put out a fire at the five-story Tampaco Foils Ltd. factory in the Tongi industrial area. The fire was triggered by a boiler explosion triggered the blaze at around 6 a.m. and spread quickly because flammable chemicals stored at the factory. At the time workers prepared to swap shifts.


At least 23 people have been killed and dozens were injured in the country's worst industrial accident since the Rana Plaza building collapse of 2013 in which over 1,100 people died. Emergency officials fear that the death toll could climb after the fire broke out in the Tongi industrial zone about 12 miles north of the capital, Dhaka.

RAJIB DHAR / AFP - Getty Images

Firefighters work to put out the flames from above.

A.M. Ahad / AP
Smoke and flames billow from the burning packaging factory in the key Bangladeshi manufacturing hub of Gazipur. REHMAN ASAD / AFP - Getty Images
Firefighters try to douse flames. STR / EPA
A Bangladeshi volunteer tries to recover a victim's body after the factory fire. SALAHUDDIN AHMED SHAMIM / AFP - Getty Images
Firefighters extinguish a fire at the food packaging factory. MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN / Reuters
Firefighters remove a dead body from the wrecked building. MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN / Reuters
A Bangladeshi rescue worker and a volunteer carry a victim from the site. - / AFP - Getty Images
An injured person rescued from a fire is taken into an ambulance. A.M. Ahad / AP
Injured victims from the factory fire are treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital in Dhaka. STR / AFP - Getty Images
A relative of a Bangladeshi factory worker holds up his picture at a building where their bodies were held after the accident. RAJIB DHAR / AFP - Getty Images
Bodies of fire victims are placed at a makeshift morgue at a hospital. A.M. Ahad / AP
A woman mourns at a hospital. MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN / Reuters
Firefighters stand at the site of the fire. MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN / Reuters