Textile workers demonstrate in Bangladesh after deadly blaze

November 27, 2012 - 3:41:17 am

DHAKA: Thousands of angry textile workers demonstrated in the outskirts of Dhaka yesterday after a fire swept through a garment workshop at the weekend, killing more than 100 people in Bangladesh’s worst-ever factory blaze.

Another fire broke out in a multi-storey garment factory in a Dhaka suburb yesterday, but a fire brigade official said that the blaze was under control and there were no immediate reports that anyone had died in the latest factory blaze.

Workers of Tazreen Fashions and residents blocked roads and forced the closure of other factories in the industrial suburb of Ashulia, where the huge fire started on Saturday, demanding that those responsible for the disaster be punished. 

“I haven’t been able to find my mother,” said one worker, who gave her name as Shahida. “I demand justice, I demand that the owner be arrested.”

Police and officials said narrow exits in the nine-storey building trapped workers inside, killing 111 people and injuring more than 150. 

“This disastrous fire incident was a result of continuing neglect of workers’ safety and their welfare,” said Amirul Haque Amin, president of Bangladesh’s National Garment Workers Federation. 

“Whenever a fire or accident occurs, the government sets up an investigation and the authorities - including factory owners - pay out some money and hold out assurances to improve safety standards and working conditions. But they never do it.”

Reuters

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