Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Garment factory fire kills 7 in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh — In the latest blow to Bangladesh's garment industry, seven workers died Saturday after a fire swept through a factory here not long after seamstresses had returned from a lunch break. Workers said supervisors had locked one of the factory exits, forcing some people to jump out of windows to save their lives.

The fatal fire comes roughly two months after the horrific blaze at the Tazreen Fashions factory, which left 112 workers dead and focused global attention on unsafe conditions in Bangladesh's garment industry. Tazreen Fashions, located just outside Dhaka, the capital, had been making clothing for some of the world's biggest brands and retailers, including Wal-Mart.

In the aftermath of the Tazreen Fashions fire, political and industrial leaders in Bangladesh pledged to quickly improve fire safety and even conducted high-profile, nationwide inspections of many of the country's 5,000 apparel factories. Global brands, meanwhile, promised consumers that they would not buy clothes from unsafe factories.

But Saturday's fire in a densely populated section of Dhaka is a grim reminder that the problems remain. The blaze erupted about 2 p.m. at Smart Garment Export, a small factory that employed about 300 people, most of them young women who were making sweaters and jackets. All seven of the dead workers were women.

Masudur Rahman Akand, a supervisor in the Bangladesh Fire Department, said the factory's workers were returning from lunch when the blaze erupted in a storage area. The factory was located on the second-floor of a building, above a bakery, and it lacked proper exits and fire prevention equipment, Akand said. "We did not find fire extinguishers," he said. "We did not find any safety measures."

With smoke filling the factory floor, workers apparently panicked. Akand said the seven workers who died either suffocated or were trampled by people trying to escape. Eight other workers were hospitalized with injuries.

Comments

Belgian minister says Afghan shot at station not radicalized

Belgium's interior minister says a man with a knife shot by police in a Ghent train station was an Afghan refugee known to have mental problems and was not thought to be an extremist
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Eriksson, Boeser lead way as Canucks thump Kings 6-2

Eriksson, Boeser lead way as Canucks thump Kings 6-2

Loui Eriksson led Vancouver's early outburst with two goals and an assist in the first six minutes, Brock Boeser scored twice in the second period and the Canucks cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings
Updated: 9 minutes ago

Philippine troops capture suspected Spanish terror supporter

Philippine army troops have captured a Spanish man they say was carrying grenades and bomb parts and is believed to be supporter of Islamic State group-linked Abu Sayyaf militants
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Pacific Rim trade pact makes step toward new deal without US

Pacific Rim trade pact makes step toward new deal without US

Leaders of countries in a Pacific Rim trade pact rejected by President Donald Trump welcome progress toward signing a final agreement to press ahead without U.S.
Updated: 12 minutes ago
LeBron James becomes youngest to 30,000 points in Cavs' loss

LeBron James becomes youngest to 30,000 points in Cavs' loss

LeBron James has joined the NBA's 30,000-point club
Updated: 13 minutes ago
LeBron James becomes youngest to 30,000 points in Cavs' loss

LeBron James becomes youngest to 30,000 points in Cavs' loss

LeBron James has joined the NBA's 30,000-point club
Updated: 13 minutes ago

Mattis thanks Vietnam for supporting sanctions on N. Korea

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is thanking Vietnam for supporting U.N. sanctions against North Korea and expressing hope for building closer military ties to Hanoi
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Japan exports up 12 percent in 2017 in tailwind for growth

Japan exports up 12 percent in 2017 in tailwind for growth

Japan reports its exports rose 12 percent in 2017 in a strong tailwind for the economy, while imports jumped 14 percent
Updated: 17 minutes ago

Tuesday's Sports in Brief

Tuesday's Sports in Brief
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Myanmar building, but no sign Rohingya are returning

Myanmar building, but no sign Rohingya are returning

Workers were laying bricks, digging ditches and setting up frames at a temporary camp in Myanmar where Rohingya Muslims would stay when they return from Bangladesh refugee camps
Updated: 21 minutes ago