News / Asia

Bangladesh Garment Workers Protest Deadly Blaze

People look at a burnt garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 25, 2012.
People look at a burnt garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 25, 2012.
VOA News
Thousands of garment workers took to the streets of Bangladesh on Monday to protest a factory blaze that killed at least 110 people.

Demonstrators blocked a major highway and some threw stones at a factory nearby on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

Hundreds of workers were trapped in the fire that began late Saturday at the Tazreen Fashion factory outside Dhaka.  Fire officials say a lack of emergency exits contributed to the deaths, with many workers jumping out of the multi-story building after being trapped in the blaze.  Authorities are unsure what caused the fire.

The government has announced a national day of mourning for Tuesday.

Bangladesh has about 4,000 garment factories that make clothes for international brands.  The country earns about $20 billion annually from overseas clothing sales, roughly 80 percent of its exports.

U.S. retailer Walmart issued a statement saying, "while we are trying to determine if the factory has a current relationship with Walmart or one of our suppliers, fire safety is a critically important area of Walmart's factory audit program and we have been working across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh."

A document posted on Tazreen Fashions' website said an audit conducted by an "ethical sourcing" assessor for Walmart gave the clothing manufacturer a "high-risk" safety rating.  The website did not give details.

  • Bangladeshis protest outside a garment-factory where a fire killed more than 100 people Saturday on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 26, 2012.
  • Workers try to break the gate of a garment factory during a protest against the death of their colleagues after a fire in another garment factory killed more than 100 people, in Savar, Bangladesh, November 26, 2012.
  • Bangladeshi firefighters and workers try to douse the fire at a garment-factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, after a similar incident killed more than 100 people on the outskirts of the city, November 26, 2012.
  • Bangladeshi officials inspect a garment-factory where a fire killed more than 110 people Saturday on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 26, 2012.
  • Relatives mourn the death of a garment worker killed in a fire on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 25, 2012.
  • People console a woman whose relative was killed in a fire at a garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 25, 2012.
  • People look at a burnt garment factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 25, 2012.
  • Bodies of dead garment workers are seen on the floor of a local school after a fire at a garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 25, 2012.

Work conditions at the country's garment factories are notoriously poor. Officials say at least 500 people have died in Bangladesh in garment factory accidents and fires since 2006.  Activists say plant owners are rarely prosecuted for poor safety conditions.

On Monday, firefighters brought a new blaze at another garment factory outside Dhaka under control. Fire officials say there were no casualties at the 12-story building that contains several factories.  The fire caused considerable damage to the building.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid