Fire kills nine at Bangladesh garment factory

DHAKA Tue Oct 8, 2013 8:53pm EDT

1 of 3. Firefighters stand near a fire as they try to control it inside a garment factory in the Bangladeshi town of Gazipur, 40 km (25 miles) north of the capital Dhaka October 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Biraj

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DHAKA (Reuters) - Nine people were killed on Tuesday evening in a fire at a garment factory in the Bangladeshi town of Gazipur, 40 km north of the capital Dhaka, emergency officials said.

A series of deadly incidents at Bangladeshi factories, including a building collapse in April that killed more than 1,100 people, has raised global concern over shaky safety standards in the South Asian country's booming, $20 billion garment industry.

Gazipur's firefighting chief, Abu Zafar Ahmed, said nine employees including three company managers had died in the blaze that originated in the knitting section of Aswad Composite Mills factory, a sister concern of Paul Mall Group.

About 50 workers were injured in the fire, whose cause had yet to be determined. Firefighters were dousing the flames.

The collapse of the building housing garment factories near Dhaka in April was the world's deadliest industrial accident since the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India.

Garments are a vital sector for Bangladesh and its low wages and duty-free access to Western markets have helped make it the world's second-largest apparel exporter after China.

The recent string of accidents has put the government, industrialists and the global brands that use the factories under pressure to reform an industry that employs four million and generates 80 percent of Bangladesh's export earnings.

(Reporting by Serajul Quadir; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (2)
Robert76 wrote:
And now all the American Companies outsourcing to this factory will say they are doing no business with them. At least that has been the pattern on all the previous tragedies.

Oct 08, 2013 10:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BanglaBrit wrote:
Let us hope that the Government gets a good grip of the situation but this raving loony bad mouth PM Hasina will blame this fire on foreign agents and the main opposition when all blames lies solely with her own corrupt Government, its regulators and factory owner!

Oct 08, 2013 12:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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