Clothes Factory Fire in Bangladesh Kills 112

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 25 2012 9:59 AM

More Than 100 Killed in Bangladesh Clothes Factory Fire

A Bangladeshi military official walks through rows of burnt sewing machines

Photo by STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

At least 112 people were killed by a quick-moving fire that engulfed a seven-story garment factory just outside the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka late Saturday. By Sunday morning, firefighters had pulled out 100 bodies and 12 people who jumped to escape the blaze later died in the hospital, reports the Associated Press. The death toll is likely to rise as the search for victims continues.

The cause of the fire wasn’t clear but Bangladesh has notoriously poor working conditions at its approximately 4,500 garment factories that make the country the world’s biggest clothing exporter after China, reports Reuters. Although this was the worst-ever factory fire in the country, more than 500 Bangladeshi workers have died in garment factory fires since 2006, points out the New York Times. Activists have long been pushing global clothing brands, such as H&M, Walmart and Tommy Hilfiger, to take responsibility for the working conditions in Bangladeshi factories that make their products.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



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