Fire raced through a factory just outside of the capital of Bangladesh killing over 100 people. The garment factory blaze was called the worst ever.
In Bangladesh, the working conditions in factories are poor and there is little if any enforcement of safety laws. The factories are also known for their overcrowding and locked doors on their fire exits are quite common. The fire’s cause was not known as of yet.
The factory is nine stories high in Dhaka’s industrial belt and started on the first floor late Saturday night. It quickly spread trapping many of the workers. Thus far, the death toll has been confirmed at 109 and that includes nine people who were killed when they jumped out of the building, said the director of the fire department.
Witnesses said the majority of workers were women and they ran for safety when the fire engulfed the Tazreen Fashion factory, but many could not get through the exits. Some jumped from factory windows and suffered injuries or were killed instantly said one witness.
One source said that 120 or more were killed, but that had not been confirmed. The majority of bodies were located on the factory’s second floor.
There are more than 4,500 garment factories in Bangladesh and it is the second largest exporter in the world following just China. Nearly 80% of the $24 million in exports annually are clothing.
Earlier in the year, 300 factories were closed for nearly a week in the capital when workers demanded better working conditions and higher wages.