At least 125 people have been killed in a double tragedy in Bangladesh. Fire raced through a garment factory near Dhaka, trapping people inside. In Chittagong a flyover collapsed, killing at least 13 people. Many more are missing.
The death toll may rise still further as rescue workers continue to search for those missing. Fire broke out in the ground floor of the seven-storey Tazreen Fashion factory on Saturday night, trapping workers inside. Staff comprised mainly women according to Naharnet, many of whom jumped from the windows to escape the blaze as there were no emergency exits. Twelve people that jumped died in hospital from their injuries.
Thousands gathered outside the factory, many anxiously waiting for news of relatives trapped inside. Factory owner Delwar Hossain denied the premises were unsafe, but one woman waiting for news of her son said: “I want the factory owner to be hanged. For him, many have died, many have gone.”
Fire fighters were able to rescue many workers that escaped to the roof. Maj. Mohammad Mahbub of the fire department said that the factory had no emergency exits and all the staircases lead to the ground floor. He stated: "Had there been at least one emergency exit through outside the factory, the casualties would have been much lower.”
Bangladesh’s garment factories make cheap clothing for export to the U.S. and Europe. Arab News reported they make brands for "Wal-Mart, JC Penney, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Carrefour and Tesco."
In the city of Chittagong a flyover that was under construction collapsed on Saturday evening, killing at least 13 people. Police used tear gas on angry crowds that attacked the offices of the construction company. Rescue workers continue to search for missing bodies amongst the debris.