A  firefighter works at the scene during a blaze that engulfed a garment factory in Sripur, Bangladesh on October 9.
PHOTO: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
A firefighter works at the scene during a blaze that engulfed a garment factory in Sripur, Bangladesh on October 9.

Story highlights

Fire breaks out in clothing factory north of Dhaka

At least 7 reported dead

The cause was not immediately known

(CNN) —  

At least seven people were killed and dozens other injured in a large fire that broke out late Tuesday at a knitwear factory on the outskirts of the capital, officials said.

Muhammad Mahbub, director (operations) of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, told CNN that rescuers had pulled some charred bodies out of smoldering debris at the factory in in Sripur.

The cause was not immediately known.

Mahbub said nearly a dozen fire engines were trying to put out the flames, but it was yet to be under control at 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Fire broke out at Aswad Knit Composite Mills Ltd in Sripur, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Dhaka. The fire began in the knitting unit and later spread to three other buildings in the compound, officials said.

Officials said the factory was closed, but some people were doing additional work at night.

Bangladesh earns about $20 billion a year, 80% of the total export, by selling clothes to European and American brands.

Workers in Bangladesh allege poor pay and substandard working condition in many factories.

In April 2013, more than 1,100 people were killed when an eight-story apparel factory building caved in and collapsed in Savar.