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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs