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Bangladesh factory owner charged with murder after 52 killed in fire

A BANGLADESH factory owner has been charged with murder after 52 people, including children, died in fire that broke out on Thursday and lasted for more than a day.

He was one of eight people arrested over the blaze at the Hashem Food and Beverage factory in Rupgani, 15 miles east of the capital Dhaka.

Forty-nine bodies had been pulled from the remains of the building today, while the other three confirmed fatalities were people who jumped from the burning factory.

Narayanganj district Police Chief Jayedul Alam said that the entrance had been padlocked at the time of the fire, breaching a number of health and safety and fire regulations.

“It was a deliberate murder,” he said.

A separate probe is under way into the use of child labour at the factory amid claims that children as young as 11 had been working there.

Bangladesh has a history of industrial disasters, including of factories catching fire with workers locked inside.

Reforms were promised after the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in which 1,100 people died when a nine-storey building collapsed.

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