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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Dozens Of Workers Die In A Bangladesh Factory Fire

Nicholas Slayton |
November 25, 2012 | 9:34 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

SKopp [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
SKopp [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

More than 100 workers in Bangladesh died after a fire broke out in their factory.

Workers at the Tazreen Fashions garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh found themselves trapped last night when a fire started at the plant's first floor. It spread, cutting off exits and leaving many workers to burn to death or suffocate from smoke inhalation. At least 111 workers are dead from the fire, and many more are being treated for burns and other injuries. Rescue workers and government officials say that the death count could rise even more in the next few days.

It took rescue workers many hours to put out the fire. Bangladesh deployed soldiers in the capital to keep order around the factory.

The main stairways in the factory went down to the ground floor, making exit difficult. Some workers jumped from the nine-story building to escape the flames and fell to their deaths. Workers told The Guardian that some exits were locked and had to be forced open so that workers could escape the factory.

The garment industry is a major part of Bangladesh's economy, and makes up 80 percent of its exports. There are thousands of garment factories in the country, and workers protested earlier this year calling for safer work environments. The Clean Clothes Campaign, an anti-sweatshop activist organization, said that initial reports suggest the fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring.

Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of Bangladesh here.
Reach Executive Producer Nicholas Slayton here. Follow him here.



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