Over 100 hurt in stampede

More than one hundred workers were injured while trying to rush out of a readymade garment factory over a false fire alarm at Ashulia in Savar on Saturday.

Industrial Police Deputy-Director Ali Ahmed Khan told bdnews24.com a fire alarm at the factory of the ‘Envoy Group’ in Jamgor area went off around 8:00am. But it turned out to be false.

The second floor staircase collapsed when nearly 6,000 workers in the factory were trying to rush out of it . “More than one hundred were injured,” Khan said.

He said that someone on the sixth floor has accidentally pressed the alarm button..

The injured were admitted to several hospitals and clinics. Women’s and Children Health Care Centre Assistant Manager Harun-r-Rashid told bdnews24.com 56 workers were admitted there , while many more were released after first aid .

Angry workers gathered at the nearby Dhaka-Tangail highway stopping traffic temporarily. Work at the garment factory stopped.

Another incident of fire was reported from Narayanganj early on Saturday. But while it destroyed lots of raw cotton and machinery, there were no casualties.

A devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions in November last year at Ashulia had killed 111 while another recent fire in Smart Fashions factory in Dhaka left seven workers dead in January.

Repeated incidents of fire have turned the spotlight on the poor safety record of industries in Bangladesh, specially in garment factories that supply some of the global majors like Wal-Mart and H&M.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) says it is working with authorities to improve the safety standard in the sector, which earns about $20 billion a year from exports, mainly to the United States and Europe.bdnews24.com

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