A factory owner has been arrested for murder after a fire in Bangladesh killed 52 people who were trapped inside the building, police have said.
A separate investigation has also been launched into allegations that the factory employed children as young as 11.
Hashem Foods Ltd factory, a food-processing plant 15 miles outside the capital Dhaka, was built without permission, had no emergency fire exits and lacked adequate safety measures, according to police.
Some workers managed to reach the roof of the six-storey building and were rescued after the building caught fire on Thursday, but many were not able to escape.
Officers also said one of the doors leading from the stairs to the roof was locked.
The owner of private company Hashem Food and Beverage, a unit of Sajeeb Group, which he also owned, has been arrested, police said.
Hashem and Sajeeb did not respond to requests for comment.
Four of the factory owner’s sons and three company officials were also arrested over the fire at the factory, where chemicals and inflammable materials were stored.
Firefighters were unable to put out the blaze until late on Friday, and its cause is still being investigated.
Emergency services recovered 49 of the bodies at the site in Rupganj, an industrial town, reports Al Jazeera.
Three people also died after jumping out of the building.
District police chief Jayedul Alam said the entrance had been padlocked at the time of the blaze and the factory breached multiple fire and safety regulations.
“It was a deliberate murder,” the police chief told the AFP news agency.
The police chief said a separate investigation had been launched into allegations that the factory employed children as young as 11.
Fires kill hundreds of people a year in Bangladesh, where some buildings have poor safety standards, according to safety experts and human rights groups.
Government officials promised better safety standards after the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Dhaka that killed more than 1,000 workers and injured hundreds.