A huge fire at a garment factory on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka has killed at least nine people.

The blaze at the Aswad Knit Composite factory in Gazipur broke out at 6pm (2300 AEDT) on Tuesday and burned overnight, engulfing a warehouse and two other buildings as firefighters struggled to bring it under control.

Dilruba Khanom, the district’s chief government administrator, said emergency services were waiting until sunrise to complete their search of the factory and he feared the death toll could rise.

“Fire officials have so far recovered nine bodies from the burnt factory,” he said.

“They have managed to control the fire in most parts of the factory, but the warehouse is still burning.

“The bodies are charred beyond recognition.”

Safety standards at Bangladesh’s 4500 garment factories, where workers toil for 10-12 hours a day for low wages, are notoriously lax and fires are a common problem.

Among other companies, the factory provided fabric to Big W (owned by Woolworths), who have refused to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord.

(Source: SBS News website, change.org)

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