Bangladesh probes factory after blaze
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, 9:38 p.m.
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh's government is investigating allegations that the sole emergency exit was locked at a garment factory in which a fire killed seven women.
The fire on Saturday at the Smart Export Garment Ltd. factory occurred just two months after a blaze killed 112 workers in another factory, raising questions about safety in Bangladesh's garment industry, which exports clothes to leading Western retailers. The gates of that factory were locked.
Government official Jahangir Kabir Nanak said on Sunday that an investigation has been ordered into the cause of the fire and allegations that the emergency exit was locked.
Altaf Hossain, father of a garment worker killed in the latest fire, has filed a police case against three directors of the factory, accusing them of negligence involving the fire, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Sub-inspector Shamsul Hoque told The Associated Press. He said police had begun an investigation.
Doctors said most of the victims died from asphyxiation.
“When I tried to escape through the emergency exit, I found the gate locked,” factory worker Raushan Ara was quoted as saying by Dhaka's Prothom Alo newspaper.
The newspaper said at least 50 people were wounded in a stampede triggered by the fire, and six of them were hospitalized.
Some of the wounded jumped out of the windows of the two-story factory, survivors said.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Monzurul Kabir said the bodies of seven women were recovered from the top floor of the factory. He said the factory was making pants and shirts.
Fire official Abdul Halim said it took firefighters about two hours to bring the blaze under control.
Volunteers joined firefighters in battling the fire as a large crowd gathered outside the factory awaiting word on the fate of relatives. Family members were seen crying near the body of a female worker named Josna, who was 16.
About 250 workers were working at the time of the fire, newspapers said. It was not known if the factory produced garments for any international companies.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said the factory was not a member so it had no details.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mexico clears way for foreign investors in shale oil drilling
- Russia’s push into Ukraine leads NATO to increase its Baltics presence
- U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills suspected al-Qaida militants
- South Korean ferry captain arrested; crew’s actions faulted in sinking
- Holocaust survivors taxed, student finds in search of Amsterdam city archives
- Pontiff seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of Earth’
- Third mate unfamiliar with waters where South Korean ferry sank
- Fiat and Chrysler to build Jeep models in China
- French journalists freed from captivity in Syria
- 58 killed in attack on U.N. peacekeeping base in South Sudan