Yet Another Deadly Garment Factory Blaze In Bangladesh

Bangladesh's government has ordered an investigation into allegations that the sole emergency exit was locked at a garment factory where a fire killed seven female workers, an official said Sunday.

Yet another tragic fire at a factory in Bangladesh's garment district on Saturday has claimed the lives of seven women there, one of whom wasreportedly just 16-years old:

"When I tried to escape through the emergency exit I found the gate locked," Raushan Ara, a worker at the factory, was quoted as saying by Dhaka's Prothom Alo newspaper.

The newspaper said at least 50 people were injured in a stampede triggered by the fire. Six were hospitalized, while others received first aid treatment on their own.

Some of the injured jumped out of the windows of the two-story factory, survivors said.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Monzurul Kabir said the bodies of 7 women were recovered from the top floor of the factoryt. He said the factory was making pants and shirts, but could not provide further details.

Fire official Abdul Halim said it took firefighters about two hours to bring the blaze under control.

Volunteers joined firefighters in battling the fire as a large crowd gathered outside the factory awaiting word on the fate of relatives. Family members were seen crying near the body of a female worker named Josna, who was 16.

About 250 workers were working at the time of the fire, newspapers said.

The owner of the factory, Smart Export Garment Ltd., was not yet not available for comment, so it is not yet known if they produced their garments for any international companies.

Since 2005, over 600 garment factory workers have perished in workplace fires.

About Diane Sweet

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Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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