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Eight killed in Bangladesh factory blast

At least eight people were killed and up to 50 injured after a boiler exploded at a garment factory in Bangladesh. The explosion was so powerful it destroyed parts of the factory, including a roof and several walls.

The factory is owned by textiles manufacturer Multifabs, which makes clothing for mostly European brands.

Bangladesh has more than 4,500 garment factories employing four million mostly female workers at a minimum monthly wage. The industry is notorious for poor workplace safety, with many of the factories lacking basic equipment such as ventilation and air coolers.

In April 2013, the nine-story Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people in one of the world's worst industrial disasters.

The country and international buyers have been trying to improve working conditions in the garment sector, which adds about 29 billion dollars in terms of exports to the country's economy.

In Bangladesh, 3.5 million workers in 4,825 garment factories produce goods for export to the global market, principally Europe and North America. The Bangladeshi garment industry generates 80 per cent of the country’s total export revenue. However the wealth generated by this sector has led to few improvements in the lives of garment workers, 85 per cent of whom are women.