Garment factory fire



Published — Wednesday 28 November 2012

Last update 27 November 2012 10:23 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

This is with reference to the story, “Bangladesh garment factory blaze kills 109.” (Nov. 26)
The Ashulia factory tragedy is another sad episode in the long chapter of garment factory disasters in Bangladesh. It is a fact that many accidents related to garment factories are waiting to happen due to poor safety measures. And going by the description of the factory and its access and exit facilities such a disaster was bound to happen in the Ashulia garment factory.
As our heart goes out to the relatives of the victims, we are led to ask whether this was a mere mishap or sheer murder owing to breach of safety procedures and gross negligence by the authorities. We are happy to note that the government of Bangladesh has declared a day of mourning.
The basic safety measures were disregarded in many ways. The factory warehouse, from where the fire originated, was located on the ground floor and the rest of shop floors on top. And the warehouse, that held inflammable materials, had no walls at all. We understand that the factory in question was nearly 3 kilometers from the main road and outside the export-processing zone, with a very narrow access road. And this is one of the reasons that caused the delay to the fire fighting vehicles in reaching the site. And who will answer why the exit door for female workers was locked, which accounts for the fact that most of the victims were women.
It is a pity that in spite of a series of garment factory fires and loss of lives over the past several years, the authorities have made little effort to learn from past mishaps. While one accepts that accidents can happen, proper readiness and safety drills can prevent casualties. In this case, confusion was compounded by the fact the workers were told that it was a fire drill and not actual fire.
We want a judicial inquiry into the disaster. Around 109 lives were lost and the figure may rise. It is not a small number. Time has come to take legal action against those in breach of the rules; the guilty must face justice because for long these people have gotten away with plain murder. And that includes not only the managerial level staff of the factory; we want those responsible for overseeing the safety measures of the factories to answer too. Merely paying compensation is not enough and that too, the amount promised, we feel, is a cruel joke. — Naser Mullah, Riyadh

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has suspended all parallel education programs, except in medical and engineering specialties, as well as bridging programs for health diploma certificates.Education Minister Azzam Al-Dhakil gave directions to the rec...
RIYADH: The Cooperative Health Insurance Council said it had suspended operations of six medical insurance companies for violating health insurance regulations by issuing insurance policies without completing the required documentation and violating...
JEDDAH: A local survey found that almost half of Saudis abide by rules and laws in public places outside the Kingdom more than they do inside the country.More than one-third of the respondent sample said they violate road traffic signs and directions...
DAMMAM: A 50 percent decline in the prices of some types of fish in the Dammam Central Market was noted compared to the previous month.Fish sellers attributed this decline to an increased fish supply and fall in demand from hotels and consumers durin...
RIYADH: In a two-day operation, police arrested 343 beggars including women and children during the holy month of Ramadan.A police officer said the raid was carried out in the Salehiya district and 220 of those arrested were women from Ethiopia. “Mos...
RIYADH: Hotels in the capital have made special arrangements by setting up Ramadan tents, where diners can visit to begin and break their fast with special suhoor and iftar meals during the ongoing fasting month.As the Ramadan tent is a popular pheno...
JEDDAH: Kaddadin, or unlicensed transporters, say there is good money to be made during Ramadan especially in transporting Umrah pilgrims from Jeddah to Makkah and back.During this month the number of visitors doubles or triples which means the price...
RIYADH: The holy month of Ramadan is lively at night following Taraweeh prayers. Nights are turned into days during the month in the industrial area where there is a large concentration of automobile workshops.The industrial areas are well illuminate...
RIYADH: The Saudi man behind the green project that ensured 3,400 trees in Khurais in the Eastern Province for a government firm has been approached by a Kuwaiti oil company for a similar project. “After learning about the project in the Eastern Prov...
RIYADH: A total of 1,300 Gambian pilgrims will come to the Kingdom to perform Haj this year, Ambassador Omar Gibril Sallah said on Thursday.“We hope that the pilgrims will observe the fifth pillar of Islam in peace and harmony and may Allah accept th...
RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and the Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) have launched a traffic safety campaign, to reduce the number of accidents that cause disability.Prince Sultan bin Salman, the SCTNH...
JEDDAH: The holy month of Ramadan is a period when non-Muslim expatriates too abstain from eating, drinking or smoking during the daytime out of respect for Muslims who fast from dawn to dusk and also because it is healthy. The expatriates are also...
A policeman was killed in an anti-terror operation on Friday in the western city of Taif, according to the interior ministry. An exchange of fire resulted in the death of the policeman after a raid to arrest a wanted person, state news agency SPA quo...
RIYADH: Customs authorities at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah have foiled an attempt to smuggle 52,850 Xanax capsules into the country.The drug, an anti-depressant, banned in the Kingdom, was found hidden under the clo...
RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has ordered that two men face trial for allegedly insulting the late King Abdullah.Quoting reliable sources, a local online publication said that King Salman has also barred Mohsin Al-Awaji and Ab...

Stay Connected

Facebook