Day after deadly blaze, another Bangladesh factory on fire

Fire-fighters Monday doused a fresh factory fire near the Bangladeshi capital, a day after one of the deadliest blazes razed a readymade garments unit, killing 124 and raising questions about the safety standards in the world's second largest garment-exporting nation.

Officials and witnesses said the latest fire did not claim any life as most workers jumped out, breaking safety grills in the 10-storey building housing three garment units.

The fresh blaze came as the nation conducted a mass burial for victims burnt in Saturday night's fire as police said they had opened a "murder case", attributing the incident to "criminal negligence".

Thousands of workers staged a protest, demanding better protection as the two fires trapped thousands of staff forcing them to jump from upper floors. The cabinet of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a nationwide mourning Tuesday for the victims of the Tazrin Fashion Plant in the Ashulia area.

The government also launched an official inquiry into the blaze which will run parallel to police investigation.

Several rights groups and expert bodies attributed lack of safety standards or flimsy safety audits by western buyers for such tragedies.

Director-general of fire services Abu Nayem Mohammad Shahidullah declined the allegation, saying he feared "sabotage" to have caused the tragedy to "frustrate the rapidly growing RMG (Readymade Garment) sector".

But director of Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme Mohammad Abdul Qayyum said Banglades witnessed major fires, particularly in the garment sectors, due to lack of adequate safety measures and unplanned construction of factory buildings.

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