Asia

Protests after Dhaka factory fire kills more than 100

  • 26 November 2012
  • From the section Asia
Workers shout slogans as they protest against the death of their colleagues after a devastating fire in a garment factory which killed more than 100 people, in Savar November 26, 2012.
Image caption There is anger and grief after Sunday's deadly blaze

Thousands of people have protested in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, after a fire at a garment factory killed more than 100 people over the weekend.

Demonstrators blocked roads and some threw stones and attacked vehicles in the industrial suburb of Ashulia, demanding justice for those who died.

Hundreds of factories are shut ahead of a national day of mourning on Tuesday.

The cause of the blaze is unclear. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she thought it had been started on purpose.

"It is not an accident, [it was] planned," the prime minister said in parliament. She said two people had been detained for trying to burn down a second garment factory on Sunday night.

There were no reports of deaths in that blaze, at the multi-storey Euro-Bangla Garment building in the suburb of Uttara. Reports said that at least eight workers suffered injuries.

Officials are investigating how both blazes started.

Poor safety

Workers and relatives of those who died in the blaze at Tazreen Fashion factory vented their anger on Monday, demanding better protection.

They said that many people were trapped after the fire broke out late on Saturday - the building reportedly lacked fire exits.

"I haven't been able to find my mother," said one worker, Shahida, Reuters news agency reports. "I demand justice, I demand that the owner be arrested."

Media captionFirefighters took several hours to bring Saturday's blaze under control

Fatal fires are common in Bangladesh's large garment manufacturing sector.

Lax safety standards, poor wiring and overcrowding are blamed for causing several deadly factory fires every year.

There are around 4,500 factories in Bangladesh, employing more than two million people.

Clothes account for up to 80% of Bangladesh's $24bn (£15bn) annual exports.

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