World News

Friday 11 July 2014

Three arrested over factory fire

Published 28/11/2012|08:49

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Hundreds of Bangladeshi mourners watch as victims of a fire in a garment factory are buried in Dhaka (AP)

Three officials at a Bangladesh factory where 112 workers died in a fire have been arrested on suspicion of locking staff inside.

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Local police chief Habibur Rahman said the trio, which do not include the owner of Tazreen Fashions, will be questioned about the fire amid reports that many workers trying to escape the blaze had been locked inside.

The officials were arrested at their homes in Savar, the Dhaka suburb where the factory is located. Mr Rahman did not identify the factory officials or give their job status.

Workers who survived the fire say exit doors were locked, fire extinguishers did not work and managers had told them to go back to work after the fire alarm sounded. A fire official has said that far fewer people would have died if there had been just one emergency exit.

Meanwhile, order books and clothing found at the factory show it was making clothing for Disney Pixar, Wal-Mart, Sears and other Western brands. The Associated Press discovered clothing and records connected to the retailers.

Piles of children's shorts from Wal-Mart's Faded Glory brand were found among the charred equipment. Blue and off-white shorts from rap star Sean Combs's ENYCE label were piled on the floor and stacked in cartons.

Entries in account books in the abandoned factory showed it took orders in recent months to produce clothes for Disney and Sears.

Wal-Mart says the Tazreen Fashions factory was making clothes for it without its knowledge. Wal-Mart had received an audit deeming the factory "high risk" last year.

Press Association

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