Interesting Place - Bangladesh

PVH, owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, and German retailer Tchibo have signed up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement (BFBSA) which will require signatories to ensure suppliers' premises meet improved safety standards.

(The drive for this follows the collapse of  the Rana Plaza, a building in Bangladesh.  Hundreds of people have been killed or injured and rescuers are still searching for survivors.   Simple Approach, a supplier to cheap fashion outlet Primark, occupied the second floor of the eight-storey building.

It seems building collapses are common in Bangladesh, due to lax building regulations.

25 Nov 2000 A fire at the Sagar Chowdhury Garment Factory in Narsingdi, 35 miles from Dhaka, kills 52 people, including children. A locked gate stops them escaping.
11 Apr 2005 Sixty-four people are killed when the Spectrum factory near Dhaka collapses. The disaster is blamed on illegal construction.
25 Feb 2010 A fire kills 21 workers at Garib & Garib Newaj factory in Gazipur, which supplies H&M.
14 Dec 2010 A fire at the That's It Sports Wear factory in Dhaka kills 29. Its customers include GAP.
24 Nov 2012 A fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory near Dhaka kills 112. US rapper and producer Sean Combs is among its Western customers with his ENYCE label.
26 Jan 2013 Eight workers die in a fire at the Smart Fashions factory in Dhaka. Brands found in the wreckage include Bershka and Lefties (Inditex), KIK and New Look.

This latest tragedy could have been avoided:-

On Tuesday police ordered an evacuation of the building after deep cracks became visible in the walls, but factories based there ignored the order and kept more than 2,000 people working.

Dilara Begum, a garment worker who survived the accident, said supervisors had told them to return to work on Wednesday, and that the building had been inspected and declared safe, she said, "We didn't want to go in but the supervisors threatened to dock pay if we didn't return to work."

Mohammad Asaduzzaman, a senior police official, said factory owners appear to have ignored a warning not to allow their workers into the building.

It's always good when there is a move towards improving the state of the world, but it's sad that this change generally comes about after tragedy.)

Sources: Independent / The Guardian / The Express / National Geographic




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