Owners of Bangladesh factory in fatal fire denied bail

Owners of Bangladesh factory in fatal fire denied bail
File photo of the the factory fire in November 2012.

The two owners of a Bangladesh garment factory who are facing homicide charges for a 2012 fire that killed 112 workers surrendered to a court and have been denied bail.

The factory outside the capital, Dhaka, which produced clothing for big retailers including Wal-Mart, had no emergency exits and its location in a narrow alley prevented firefighters from responding quickly to the deadly blaze in November 2012, said prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul.

The investigation found that when the fire broke out, managers and security guards told workers it was part of a regular drill and it was too late for many to escape. Workers found the gates locked from outside as the fire engulfed the sprawling building, according to the investigation.

Police filed homicide charges on December 22 against 13 people in connection with the fire, including the owners of Tazreen Fashions Ltd, Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter. Arrest warrants were issued on December 31 for six who police said had fled, including the two owners.

After Hossain and Akter surrendered, a Dhaka court rejected their bail petition and ordered them to be jailed, pending further legal procedures.

If found guilty, the accused face a minimum of seven years and up to life in prison, Mr Babul said. Of the 13 accused, four are still at large.

It is the first time Bangladesh has sought to prosecute factory owners in its lucrative garment industry, which is the world’s second largest after China.

The fire is one of several deadly disasters that have exposed harsh and unsafe working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment industry. A factory collapse last April killed more than 1,100 workers.

The impoverished South Asian nation earns more than £12.2 billion a year from garment exports, mainly to the United States and Europe.

More in this Section

Woman feared dead as Britain counts the cost of Storm DennisWoman feared dead as Britain counts the cost of Storm Dennis

Coronavirus: Americans from quarantined cruise ship land back in USCoronavirus: Americans from quarantined cruise ship land back in US

Boris Johnson faces calls to sack controversial Number 10 adviserBoris Johnson faces calls to sack controversial Number 10 adviser

More than 200 Heathrow flights grounded after ‘technical issue’More than 200 Heathrow flights grounded after ‘technical issue’


Lifestyle

Setting sail to travel the world as part of your job has a romance all of its own but for marketing manager Máire Cronin and engineer Mark Crowe it led to love.Wedding of the Week: Cruise ship co-workers Máire and Mark sail off into sunset

One of the genres that has seen exponential growth in the podcast world is the sleepcast. Open Spotify on your phone in the evening and a number of offerings are available, writes Eoghan O'SullivanThe Podcast Corner: podcasts that will put you to sleep

Cutting-edge animation was paired with the look of an old-fashioned family film for Call Of The Wild, writes Esther McCarthyCall of the Wild: CGI dogs have their day in new Disney adventure

A new exhibition recalls the late entertainer Thom McGinty, writes Richard Fitzpatrick.Remembering The Diceman: street performer and social activist

More From The Irish Examiner