Dec 14, 2010 4:43 pm


IN THOSE DAYS - The horrific Triangle shirt factory Fire caused the death of 146 workers. It took two years before the families were granted compensation. It also led to the passage of comprehensive safety and workers’ compensation laws.

AT THIS TIME - violent unionist protest - Note that the factory owners are South Korean, Japanese and Chinese though the product may be sold in the American market at outlets such as the GAP and JCPenny's.

At least 31 dead but the number keeps rising.

The razing fire at a garment unit of Ha-Mim Group at Ashulia, Savar that left at least 31 people dead has been put out.

Firefighters ran out of water on Tuesday, severely hampering efforts to search and pull out people--dead or alive. Later Dhaka Wasa sent water-carrying vehicles to assist the operations.

Many workers, trapped in plumes of smoke and unable to breathe, jumped to their deaths to escape from one of the worst fire accidents in recent memory. Scores were injured as they jumped from the windows of ninth and 10th floors of 'That's It Sportswear Ltd' at Narshinghapur.

Most of the people died due to suffocation and extreme heat, firemen said. Deputy managing director of the factory Delwar Hossain said some 6,000 people worked in the factory.

Compensation has already been announced. As precious as life is, the loss of the dead's salary is enormous. Investigation has started.

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Abdus Salam Murshedi told that the apex trade body will give Tk 100,000 for the families of each deceased.

It has also declared to give Tk 10,000 for carrying of the bodies to their village homes. Ha-Mim Group will give Tk 100,000 for each of the deceased and Tk 25,000 for those injured in the deadly fire.

When asked if it was incident was an act of sabotage, Murshedi told"We don't yet know how the fire broke out.". . .

The government has formed a five-strong committee with additional secretary at home ministry Iqbal Khan Chowdhury and asked it to submit report by seven days.

Others of the committee include one each from the police, fire service, BGMEA and labour ministry.

BGMEA formed another committee consisting three members.

A century does make a difference and the garment industry continues to offer a perilous ladder out of poverty.

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