Thursday 25 April 2013

Rescuers use massive strips of cloth as escape chutes after textile factory in Bangladesh collapses killing at least 159 people.

Around 2,000 workers were in the eight-storey building when it collapsed without warning yesterday morning.

Police said factory owners appeared to have ignored a warning after crack was detected on Tuesday.

At least 159 people died yesterday when a factory building which supplies clothes to Primark collapsed in Bangladesh.

Matalan also took orders from one of the factories in the building until two months ago, while campaigners said the brands Benetton and Mango also used suppliers in the block – although this was denied by the retailers yesterday.

Survivor Shaheena Akhter, 23, said: ‘Some of us did not want to work fearing something might happen, but the garment factory people told us that we had to join our work otherwise we will lose our jobs.’ The tragedy highlights the unsafe conditions many endure in factories making clothes for Western companies.

A Primark spokesman said: ‘Primark has been engaged to review the Bangladeshi industry’s approach to factory standards. ‘Primark will push for this to also include building integrity.’ Two factories in the building – New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms – were making clothing for Mango of Spain and Benetton of Italy, according to campaign group Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity. But the companies denied their clothes were being made in the building. 

Tessel Pauli, a spokesman for the Clean Clothes Campaign, said: ‘These accidents represent a failure of these brands to make safety a priority.’

“These accidents represent a failure of these brands to make safety a priority. They know what needs to be done and they are not doing it,” Pauli told AFP.
Bangladeshi unions and rights activists have also reacted furiously, calling for an end to the impunity the country’s garment manufacturers enjoy.

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