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Smoke rises from a food and beverage factory where at least 52 people died, in Rupganj, outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 9, 2021.

AP Photo / Mahmud Hossain Opu

Dhaka video journalist Al-Emrun Garjon and freelance photographer Mahmud Hossain Opu managed to get where other journalists did not: inside a tragic factory fire that killed dozens of workers who were locked inside the food and beverage factory outside Bangladesh’s capital. Police initially gave a toll of three dead, but the following afternoon firefighters discovered 49 more bodies, many of whom were trapped inside by an illegally locked door.

AP’s visual journalists had scrambled to the scene as soon as the scale of the tragedy became clear. Once there, they got inside the factory and despite intense heat and smoke, captured dramatic scenes of firefighters, with Garjon setting up an exclusive livestream using the Bambuser app on his iPhone as rescuers searched for bodies amid the burning debris. The pair’s video and and still images of firefighters’ efforts and the grim consequences of the blaze set AP's all-formats coverage apart on this latest industrial disaster in Bangladesh.