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Bangladesh blames sabotage for deadly factory fire

27 November 2012

A fire that killed 111 textile workers in Bangladesh has been declared as arson. More than 150 others were injured. For the second successive day thousands of the victims’ colleagues stopped work to mourn and protest. There is widespread anger over reports from survivors that managers prevented staff from running out of the factory after a fire alarm went off. The country’s worst-ever industrial blaze erupted on Saturday, consuming a multi-storey building on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka. Bangladesh’s Interior Minister, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, says initial findings suggest the blaze was started deliberately. He promised to bring the culprits to justice: “On the basis of the preliminary inquiry, we have come to the conclusion that this is an act of sabotage. We are finding out as of now who exactly the saboteurs are and we are determined that these saboteurs are brought to book,” he said. As the world’s second biggest clothes exporter, the fire has put a spotlight on global retailers that source garments from Bangladesh. Rights groups have called on big-brand names to sign up to fire safety programmes.