Bangladesh: lack of safety features results in another fire; 13 killed

Safety conditions at Bangladeshi factories have come under international scrutiny in recent years. Most recently, a fire at a plastics factory in Bangladesh killed 13 workers, including two women. The country has formed a five-man government team to investigate whether the Nasim Plastics factory in Mirpur had a proper operating licence, fire equipment and statutory safety features.

The fire at the five-storey facility was brought under control in around two hours. Police said the fire started when a gas cylinder exploded at the factory. Local residents said that the factory recycled plastic and made packaging for food for the domestic market.

After hearing the explosion, most of the workers escaped through windows and other openings of the building. At least 64 workers were inside the building when the fire broke out.

Bangladesh is prone to fires as the country's factories lack safety standards and fire-fighting tools.

In November 2012, at least 112 workers were killed when a blaze devastated a nine-storey garment factory outside Dhaka; and in 2013 more than 1,100 people died in the collapse of a building housing five garment factories. That led a group of mostly European fashion brands to fund safety inspections in garment factories that began last year.


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