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Bangladesh Factory Fire Reveals Need for Better Workers' Safety

The deaths of more than one hundred people in a garment factory fire outside of Bangladesh on Saturday and Sunday, November 24-25 were a preventable tragedy, and not merely the consequence of an act of arson as the Bangledeshi government initially claimed.

 

The New York Times reports that most people who were killed were "on the first and second floors and were killed because there were not enough exits" when flames engulfed the building.  While arson has been suggested as the cause of the fire, a fire official said it "could have been caused by an electrical fault or by a spark from a cigarette."  The government has launched two investigations into the cause of the fire and the high number of deaths resulting from it.

 

The BBC reports that due to "lax safety standards, poor wiring and overcrowding," fatal fires are "common" in Bangladesh's garment manufacturing sector. 

 

Meanwhile, eight people were injured in a separate fire in another garment factory on Monday.

 

Here is a trailer for the documentary film "The Machinist" about garment workers in Bangladesh and the true cost of cheap clothing: