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Bangladesh police charges factory owner, 12 others over deadly fire

English.news.cn   2013-12-22 17:29:51            

DHAKA, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Charges have finally been pressed against 13 people including the owner of a garment factory over a late 2012 devastating fire that left 112 dead as officials over a year after the horrendous tragedy wrapped up an investigation.

In one of the worst tragedies in Bangladesh's history in November 2012, at least 112 workers of the factory at Ashulia on the outskirts of capital Dhaka were killed.

Dozens of workers also sustained injuries as the Nov. 24 devastating fire, claimed to be "an act of sabotage," raged through the eight-storey Tazreen Fashion Limited, where global brands including U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart were manufactured.

AKM Mohsinuzzaman Khan, a Criminal Investigation Department ( CID) inspector, Sunday morning submitted the charge sheet against the accused in a case before Chief Judicial Magistrate Court of Dhaka.

A CID official who preferred to be unnamed said the Tazreen Fashion Ltd owner and its officials have been accused of breaching construction rules including building staircases that were too narrow and unsafe.

Of the accused, he said, many including owner Delwar are on the run. The only arrestee is security-in-charge Anisur Rahman.

After submitting the charges, the CID inspector made a plea to the court to issue arrest warrant against the absconding accused.

He also requested the court to confiscate the properties of the absconding accused.

Bangladesh has one of the largest garment industries in the world, providing cheap clothing for major Western retailers that benefit from its widespread low-cost labor. But the industry has been widely criticized for low pay and limited rights given to workers and for the often dangerous working conditions in garment factories.

In Bangladesh, factory owners are rarely charged over such tragedies.

Analysts say tragic incidents continue to occur in Bangladesh as most of the time culprits go unpunished.

The Tazreen fire incident was dwarfed by another worst ever industrial tragedy at an apparel hub on outskirts of the capital where five factories housed in a eight-storey building collapsed on April 24 this year, leaving at least 1,130 people dead.

The tragedy revived questions about the commitments of factory owners and their global buyers to provide safe working conditions in the annually 22 billion U.S. dollars export sector, which comprises about 5,000 factories employing more than 4 million workers, 80 percent of whom are women.

Related:

Bangladesh declares Tuesday national mourning day for fire, flyover victims

DHAKA, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Bangladeshi government has declared Tuesday, Nov. 27, a day of national mourning to mark respect for all those who lost their lives in Saturday's devastating garment factory fire and a flyover collapse.

At least 122 people were killed in Saturday's garment factory fire in Ashulia on the outskirts of capital Dhaka and a flyover collapse in Southeastern Chittagong seaport city, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka.  Full story

Editor: Hou Qiang
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