Over 100 killed in Bangladesh blaze
Bangladeshi police officials inspect the burnt garment factory in Dhaka. AP PhotoAt least 109 people died when fire swept through a factory in the worst-ever blaze to hit Bangladesh’s garment industry, officials said yesterday, as witnesses told of desperate workers jumping from upper floors.
Firefighters battled for several hours to contain the blaze, which broke out on the ground floor of the nine-storey Tazreen Fashion plant 30 kilometers north of the capital Dhaka late Nov. 24. Survivors told how panicked staff, most of them women, tried to escape the burning factory, which made clothes for international brands including the European chain C&A and the Hong Kong-based Li & Fung company. Dhaka district commissioner Yusuf Harun told Agence France-Presse the death toll was 109, including several workers who died while jumping from windows or the roof. About 100 people were injured.
Officials said many victims died of suffocation as the blaze started in the ground-floor warehouse, trapping staff working on the night shift.
A blaze in a Pakistan garment factory in September killed 289 workers. Two of the owners are facing murder charges. According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, a Amsterdam-based textile rights group, at least 500 Bangladeshi garment workers have died since 2006 in factory fires.