On September 11, a raging fire tore through a packaging factory in Bangladesh, causing the building to collapse and kill 34 people. Numerous criminal complaints have been filed in the wake of the disaster and the question has been raised: how many more people must die or become injured in these unsafe factories before there is significant change?
Just over three years after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, which left 1,129 people dead and over 2,500 injured, the three-story Tampaco Foils Ltd factory was met with tragedy. At least 70 percent of the structure collapsed, due to and explosion and consequent fire. The factory worked with international clients, including Nestle and British American Tobacco. Family members of the deceased and injured have filed complaints against several people involved, including the factory owner.
Bangladesh is, unfortunately, not new to catastrophes in its industrial fields. Just last year, a cement factory caved in, killing 7, and in 2012 – before the Rana Plaza disaster – a garment factory fire claimed the lives of 112 people. Initiatives to correct future problems were set into motion, according to Human Rights Watch, including the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Building Accord and Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. Sadly, many international companies have not signed up with either initiative, leaving workers in the hands of Bangladeshi inspectors and other third parties to monitor fire hazards and workplace safety standards. For this disaster, time will tell how far the destruction and loss reach.
Lead image via Wikimedia