DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A fire raced through a sweater factory near the Bangladeshi capital early Friday, killing at least 13 people and injuring dozens more, officials and television reports said.
Fire fighter official Abdur Rashid told The Associated Press by phone from the scene that rescuers recovered dozens of victims from the six-story building, which was engulfed in flames. Twenty-two of them were either "critically injured" or dead, he said.
The Ntv television station said at least 13 women had died of burns or suffocation, while Bangla Vision put the figure at 21 dead. Reports said at least 50 people had been injured.
Rashid said casualty figures were uncertain because victims had been sent to several hospitals around the Garib & Garib Sweater Factory in Gazipuir district, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of the capital, Dhaka.
The casualties were likely to be largely women, who make up most of Bangladesh's 2 million textile workers.
Rashid said it was not immediately clear what had caused the fire.
Bangladesh has about 4,000 textile factories, and many of them are unsafe, labor rights groups say.
The industry annually earns $10 billion from exports, mainly to the United States and Europe.