Tazreen fire pre-planned | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 01, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 01, 2013

Tazreen fire pre-planned

Says BGMEA probe report

The November 24 fire at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia -- the deadliest the country has ever witnessed -- was preplanned, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said in a probe report yesterday.
A 11-member team headed by Vice-president SM Mannan Kochi had found that several factory officials were involved in the blaze that killed 112 workers, said BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin at his office in the capital.
"We want to know why they did it."
The facts of the inferno hinted at such "ill motive". The team appointed on November 26 spoke to a number of witnesses and injured workers and visited the multi-storey factory building many times before coming to the conclusion, Shafiul said.
The whole incident should be properly investigated and the conspirators should be brought to justice, he said.
Tazreen Fashions had lacked safety for workers but the suspicious behaviour of level one's mid-level officials during the incident indicated that it was intentional, according to the team's findings.
The mid-level officials prevented workers from leaving the building after the fire had broken out, said the BGMEA president.

The factory had no emergency exit and on top of that the ground floor was being used as a wear house which was full of inflammable cloths, yearns and garment accessories, says the report.
Therefore the fire quickly spread from the wear house to level one, two and three.
The factory organised fire drill a few days before the incident, Shafiul said but did not explain why the association had not asked the factory owner to take proper safety measures for workers.
He demanded that the government establish an industrial park for the garment industry soon.
Earlier, a home ministry investigation also described the fire as an act of "sabotage" but did not name anyone involved.
The report published on Dec 17 recommended filing lawsuits against nine officials of the factory and its owner Delwar Hossain.

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