SAVAR, Bangladesh (AP) – The number of people killed in the collapse of a Bangladeshi garment factory climbed to 69 Sunday as rescuers recovered nine more bodies, a rescue official said, adding there is scant hope of finding anyone else alive.

A boiler explosion on Monday brought the nine-story building down on nearly 300 workers at the factory near Savar, an industrial town 20 miles northwest of the capital, Dhaka.

About 96 more workers were still missing and feared dead.

“There is little scope of finding anyone alive now, but we never give up hope,” said Brig. Gen. Nizam Ahmed, an army officer who was supervising the rescue work.

Most of the corpses were badly mangled and decomposing, and relatives struggled to identify them by clothing or other personal effects.

The factory was built on a swamp three years ago, and building investigators suspect poor construction may have led to the collapse.

Bangladesh has about 2,500 garment factories employing about 1.8 million workers. The South Asian nation exports more than $5 billion in textiles each year.

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