DHAKA, Bangladesh — At least 124 people were killed in a fire at a Bangladeshi garment factory in the latest industrial accident to raise concerns about the safety of workers who make clothing for companies such as Li & Fung, whose clients have included Walmart Stores and Target.
The fire started Saturday at a warehouse of Tazreen Fashion, a unit of textile manufacturing company Tuba Group, said Habibur Rahman, superintendent of police. Li & Fung said it’s in contact with the owner of the factory. The Hong Kong-based outsourcer said it will conduct its own investigation.
The factory has no emergency exits and workers, unable to escape, were burned alive, Washington-based International Labor Rights Forum said, citing Mohammad Mahbub, a director at the fire department operations.
Some workers jumped out of the eight-story building to escape the flames, said Mohammad Sharif, whose parents-in-law worked at the plant.
The government should investigate possible sabotage in the fire, said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest apparel exporter, after China, and 700 garment workers have died since 2005 because of unsafe buildings, Washington-based International Labor Rights Forum said in a statement.