The Straits Times
Published on Nov 27, 2012

Bangladesh blames sabotage for factory blaze that killed 111 workers


DHAKA (REUTERS) - Bangladesh said on Tuesday that a fire that killed 111 textile workers was sabotage as protesters took to the streets for a second day and garment factories across the world's second biggest clothes exporter stopped work to mourn the dead.

The country's worst-ever industrial blaze broke out on Saturday and consumed a multi-storey building of a Tazreen Fashions factory. More than 150 workers were injured.

The fire has put a spotlight on global retailers that source clothes from Bangladesh, where the cost of labour is low - as little as US$37 (S$45) a month for some workers - and rights groups have called on big-brand firms to sign up to a fire safety programme.

Interior Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir said according to a preliminary inquiry, the fire was the result of arson. He promised to bring the culprits to justice.