Thousands of Bangladeshi workers blocked the streets of a Dhaka suburb Monday, throwing stones at factories and smashing vehicles, as they demanded justice for 112 people killed in a garment-factory fire that highlighted unsafe conditions in an industry rushing to produce for major retailers around the world.
Some 200 factories were closed for the day after the protest erupted in Savar, the industrial zone where Saturday’s deadly fire occurred. Protesters blocked a major highway.
The government announced that Tuesday will be a day of national mourning, with the national flag flying at half-mast in honour of the dead.
Investigators suspect that a short circuit caused the fire, said Maj. Mohammad Mahbub, fire department operations director. But he said it was not the fire itself but the lack of safety measures in the eight-story building that made it so deadly.
“Had there been at least one emergency exit through outside the factory, the casualties would have been much lower,” Mr Mahbub said. He said firefighters recovered at least 100 bodies from the factory, and 12 more people died at hospitals after jumping from the building to escape the fire.
Local media reported that up to 124 people were killed.
Keywords: Bangladesh factory fire