Anger Rises Along With Death Toll At Bangladesh Factory

Volunteers on Thursday use a length of textile as a slide to move victims from the rubble of a collapsed building in Savar, Bangladesh. AFP/Getty Images

Volunteers on Thursday use a length of textile as a slide to move victims from the rubble of a collapsed building in Savar, Bangladesh. AFP/Getty Images

Rescue workers in Bangladesh sifted through broken concrete and twisted rebar Thursday hoping to find survivors from the collapse of an eight-story garment factory complex that has killed more than 200 people and trapped hundreds of others.

NPR’s Julie McCarthy, reporting from New Delhi, India, says this could be the South Asian country’s worst industrial disaster, and that it has “revived anger about unregulated factories that supply some of the world’s best-known brands.”

The Associated Press reports that:

“Hundreds of rescuers, some crawling through the maze of rubble in search of survivors and corpses, worked through the night and into Thursday amid the cries of the trapped and the wails of workers’ relatives gathered outside the building, called Rana Plaza. It housed numerous garment factories and a handful of other companies.”

The collapse in Savar, an industrial suburb of the capital, Dhaka, occurred Wednesday after some workers reported the appearance of deep cracks in the walls of the complex. Officials said factory managers ignored a police order to evacuate the building after the cracks were discovered.

Cheap labor and production costs have made Bangladesh an attractive place for Western companies to produce textiles and garments in recent years, allowing the country to become the second-largest producer of textiles, after China.

“But workers’ rights groups say the pressure to produce things cheaply in Bangladesh only discourages renovations [to factories] that can be costly,” McCarthy says.

The AP says at least two factories in the complex produced clothing for major foreign brands: Ether Tex claims to supply Wal-Mart and New Wave Style, which says it makes clothing for U.S. retailers The Children’s Place and Dress Barn, Britain’s Primark, Spain’s Mango and Italy’s Benetton.

On its website, Primark said it was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the incident.

On Wednesday, The Children’s Place confirmed that it was supplied by one of the factories in the complex, but Dress Barn said it had “not purchased any clothing from that facility since 2010.”

The collapse comes just five months after 112 workers were killed in a fire in another apparel factory in Bangladesh that had supplied Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.

 

Read original article

Anger Rises Along With Death Toll At Bangladesh Factory

Recent headlines

  • Rey Soto-Lopez practices his welding techniques at the Ironworkers Union. (Photo by Anne Hillman/Alaska Public Media)

    Changing the way you think to stay out of prison

    Research shows the classes focused on behavior and attitude can be effective and change how people think – and they reduce recidivism by about 25 percent, if they are taught by well-trained teachers. The most effective programs focus on anger management and problem-solving.
  • Airborne Army soldiers practice roll-over drills in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan (Photo by Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

    Amid evolving Afghan mission, Alaska soldiers ready to deploy

    As the United States approaches the 16th anniversary of military operations in Afghanistan, thousands more troops are readying to deploy. One of the units heading there is the airborne infantry brigade based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
  • ‘Vote no’: Left takes to TV and sky to reach Murkowski

    Advocates on the left are cranking up the pressure on U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote against the latest bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Homer’s canvas board counts absentee ballots in recall election. (Photo by Aaron Bolton/KBBI)

    New ethics complaint filed over Homer recall election

    A new ethics complaint has been filed in relation to Homer’s recent recall election. Three Homer City Council members were up for recall in June, but all three retained their seats. The complaint argues that the council members should have recused themselves from certifying the election results.
X