At least five garment workers have died in Chile after the factory they were working at was torched by looters amid a wave of protests over living costs and inequality.

Firefighters say they found five bodies inside the garment factory burned by rioters in a suburb of Santiago, according to the BBC. Three more people are also reported to have died on Sunday (27 October), although no details have so far been given about the circumstances of their deaths or the name of the garment factory.

Demonstrations initially started by school children and students against metro fare hikes, but escalated on Friday (25 October), with protests spreading around the country over the weekend. Residents have expressed discontent over rising living costs and patchy public services.

"This is not a simple protest over the rise of metro fares, this is an outpouring for years of oppression that have hit mainly the poorest," Karina Sepulveda, an anthropology student, told Reuters at a rally in central Santiago on Sunday. "The illusion of the model Chile is over. Low wages, lack of healthcare and bad pensions have made people tired."

A night curfew was imposed in the areas of Santiago, Valparaíso and Coquimbo y Biobío, according to reports. In Santiago, almost all public transport was suspended, flights out of the international airport were cancelled and shops remained closed.