Sunday 25 November 2012

Another deadly factory fire

Last month I blogged about what was perhaps the deadliest factory fire in history in a clothing works in Karachi (see my post of Oct 15).  Now a fire at a clothing factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, is believed to cost more than 112 lives.

The blaze started late on Saturday on the ground floor of the factory, perhaps because of an electrical fault, trapping workers on upper floors.  Some jumped to their deaths from windows.  The building was in a narrow lane, making it hard for fire crews to reach the blaze.

Thousands flocked to the factory looking for relatives who worked there.   A senior fire official said that if there had been a fire escape on the outside of the building, it might have save many lives, while the factory owner said he had never had a fire before at any of his seven premises.

Clothes account for up to 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports, and about two million people work in the industry.    Two years ago, another fire in a factory nearby resulted in the deaths of 25 workers.

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