WalMart Sweatshop in Bangladesh Burns, 112 Dead

At least 112 employees of a Bangledesh garment factory perished in a blaze late Saturday after becoming trapped inside the building with no fire exits. The factory produced clothing for Wal-Mart, and other U.S. retailers. Were your Black Friday deals worth it?

There was no escape. A fire claimed 112 workers in a garment factory near the capital of Bangladesh late Saturday. A fire official said their last moments were spent in panic as they searched in vain for fire exits leading outside. “I want the factory owner to be hanged,” said one grieving mother who lost her daughter-in-law in the fire and whose son is still missing. “For him, many have died.” Firefighters have recovered 100 bodies from the gutted seven-story factory. Many of Bangladesh’s 4,000 garment shops lack proper fire protections.

The Telegraph:

“The factory had three staircases, and all of them were down through the ground floor,” Mahbub said. “So the workers could not come out when the fire engulfed the building.”

“Had there been at least one emergency exit through outside the factory, the casualties would have been much lower,” he said.

Many of the victims were burned beyond recognition. The recovered bodies were kept in rows on the premise of a nearby school.

Army soldiers and paramilitary border guards were deployed to help police keep the situation under control as thousands of onlookers and anxious relatives of the factory workers gathered at the scene, Mahbub said. He would not say how many people were still missing.

Bangladesh’s garment factories make clothes for brands including Wal-Mart, JC Penney, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Carrefour and Tesco.

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