DHAKA: The death toll from a fire at a Bangladesh clothes factory has risen to at least 121 as rescuers recovered 112 bodies.
''We've found 112 bodies this morning,'' the fire brigade director-general, Brigadier General Abu Nayeem Mohammad Shahidullah, said on Sunday, adding that this did not include the nine reported killed overnight.
''We resumed our search this morning and found the bodies lying on different floors of the factory building.''
Police said many workers jumped from the Dhaka factory's upper floors to escape the raging flames before firefighters arrived to put out the blaze on Saturday night.
Habibur Rahman, the superintendent of police for Dhaka, said the fire started in a warehouse of Tazreen Fashion, a unit of the Tuba Grouptextile company. The warehouse was in the industrial area of Ashulia.
Tazreen Fashion employs 1200 workers and exports goods worth $36 million a year, mainly to the US and Europe, according to the company's website.
Fatal fires are common in Bangladesh's large garment manufacturing sector. Lax safety standards, poor wiring and overcrowding are blamed for causing several deadly factory fires every year.
It is still unclear what caused this warehouse blaze.
In December 2010, a similar fire in another clothes factory in the same industrial zone killed at least 25 people. That blaze was found to have been caused by a wiring problem.
There are about 4500 factories in Bangladesh, employing more than 2 million people. Clothes account for up to 80 per cent of the nation's exports of $US24 billion ($23.2 billion) a year.
Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg