The Straits Times
Published on Nov 27, 2012

Bangladesh hunts owner after factory inferno


DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladeshi police hunted a fugitive factory boss on Tuesday after claims that workers making cheap clothes for Western firms including Walmart were told that an alarm for a deadly fire was a routine drill.

Ahead of the first mass burials for the fire's 110 victims, Bangladesh held a day of mourning. Green and red national flags flew at half mast alongside black flags on top of government offices and the country's 4,500 garment factories.

Two government inquiries have already been set up to try to establish the exact cause of the fire, which broke out late Saturday at the Tazreen factory, some 30 kilometres outside the capital Dhaka.

It was the worst ever fire to hit Bangladesh's garment industry, which employs three million and is the mainstay of the poverty-stricken country's economy.