Bangladesh Factory Fire: 112 Dead and Locked In Working for Wal-Mart, Disney

By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
November 28, 2012|9:20 am

The factory in Bangladesh in which 112 people lost their lives was making clothes for many top western brands including Wal-Mart, Disney and Sears.

Mounds of clothes were recovered from the charred remains of the factory and the Associated Press reported uncovering records that connected some of the largest retailers in the world. Local police also arrested three people suspected of locking in workers in the factory before the fire started.

The charred clothes at the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory included Wal-Mart's Faded Glory brand and clothes that were being manufactured for Sean "Diddy" Combs ENYCE label. Records show that the factory recently took orders for other companies such as Disney and Sears.

The factory had a history of unsafe working conditions. It is unclear why these companies were still having products manufactured there, given that some companies had received audits that described the dangerous operating conditions of the factory.

Wal-Mart issued a statement that revealed the factory was making clothes without its knowledge and despite the retail giant not authorizing such actions.

Local reports in India explain that workers who were able to escape the speedily spreading inferno said that exit doors were locked and fire extinguishers did not work.

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They also said some of the factory's managers instructed them to go back to work after the first alarms sounded. Fire officials stated that more people would have survived if just one emergency exit was open.

Local police chief Habibur Rahman said three factory officials were arrested and will be interrogated over accusations that workers were locked inside the factory while they were working. The men arrested all lived in the same area in Dhaka where the factory was located.

Since the incident, fire protesters have taken to the streets to demand safer conditions for workers. Local reports stated that around 3,000 garment workers held protests for the third straight day.

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