Fire at Bangladesh garment factory kills at least 10
A Bangladeshi garment worker participates in a protest outside the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Export Association office building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, July 11, 2013. (AP / A.M. Ahad.)
Published Tuesday, October 8, 2013 3:42PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 8, 2013 10:15PM EDT
DHAKA, Bangladesh — A fire at a garment factory outside Bangladesh's capital killed 10 people and others were injured trying to escape, officials said Wednesday.
Harsh and often unsafe working conditions exist in Bangladesh's garment industry, and authorities and global clothing companies have pledged to improve safety standards there after numerous fatal accidents.
Those killed in the fire at the Aswad garment factory in Gazipur included the general manager, Rashiduzzaman Mandal, said fire official Zafar Ahmed. He said the fire was doused early Wednesday after firefighters labored 10 hours to bring it under control.
Factory director Emdad Hossain said 170 workers were inside the factory when the fire started and most were able to escape. Hossain said he suffered slight injuries himself.
Farhaduzzaman, another fire official, said the fire spread to two buildings that housed garment factories belonging to the Palmal Group of Industries.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but the government was investigating.
Among previous garment industry disasters, the collapse of an eight-story factory building in April killed more than 1,100 people, and a fire last November killed 112 workers.
Bangladesh earns $20 billion a year from garment exports, mainly to the United States and Europe. The sector employs about 4 million workers, mostly women.