At least seven people have been killed in a fire that swept through a garment factory in the Bangladeshi capital, police said Thursday.

"Seven people have died of suffocation," local police chief Khalilur Rahman told AFP, adding that firefighters extinguished the blaze in the early hours of Thursday.

The fire is the latest incident to hit Bangladesh's textile industry, after the collapse of a factory complex last month that left at least 800 dead.

Authorities shut down 18 garment plants Wednesday to prevent a repeat of the disaster at the Rana Plaza complex, after pledging to the International Labour Organization that Bangladesh would give safety "the highest consideration".

The death toll from the nation's worst industrial disaster has hit 803, and with many more bodies believed trapped in the lower floors of the complex the numbers are expected to rise as heavy equipment clears debris.