Dhaka, Nov 25 (TruthDive): At least 112 people were killed in a fire that razed through a nine-storey garment factory just outside Bangladesh’s capital, an official said on Sunday.
Police said, the fire broke out in the ground-floor warehouse of the multi-storey Tazreen Fashion factory 30 kilometres north of Dhaka on Saturday evening, trapping hundreds of workers on the upper floors. The fire at the ground floor quickly spread to others parts of the factory causing the worst fire tragedy in recent years.
Most of the victims died as they jumped from the building to escape the flames, a police official said. The death toll could rise, witnesses said. The reason for the fire was not immediately clear, but fires resulting from shoddy electrical wiring and short circuits are common in Bangladeshi garment plants.
Fire department Operations Director Maj. Mohammad Mahbub told border guards and army soldiers had been appointed to help the police keep situation under control as thousands of anxious relatives of the factory workers gathered at the scene.
Television footage showed fire service rescuers and army troops bringing out the bodies one after another from the debris as hundreds of people, including relatives of the victims were waiting outside.
Bangladesh has as many as 4,000 garment factories and many factories have no proper safety measures. At the start of this year, more than 300 factories remained closed near the capital for about a week as workers demanded better working conditions and higher wages.
The country’s annual income is about $20 billion from exports of garment products, mainly to Europe and United States. And Bangladesh is the world’s biggest exporter of clothing after China, with garments making up 80 percent of its $24 billion in annual exports.
These garment factories in Bangladesh make clothes for brands including Wal-Mart, Tesco, JC Penney, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Carrefour and Kohl’s.