Many Leapt to Their Deaths to Escape Flames
A FIRE SWEPT THROUGH A CLOTHING FACTORY in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday night/Sunday morning, killing at least 120 workers with the death count expected to rise. The 9-story building was occupied with several hundred workers and operating when the fire started. It is very common in most Asian countries to have stairwells blocked and doors locked to prevent thievery.
The blaze broke out at the Tazreen Fashion building in the Ashulia industrial area, 24 kilometers north of Dhaka, on Saturday night. Locals said panic-stricken garment workers jumped from windows as the fire spread and reported seeing charred bodies being brought out from the blackened building.
Rina Khatun, a worker who escaped the burning factory, said she had been able to get out because she was on the ground floor at the time of the blaze. "Those who were on the top floors didn't have a chance," she said.
Some workers said the building's fire escape was blocked and guards had failed to open the main gate after smoke engulfed the building.
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