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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Months After Deadly Fire, Owners of Bangladesh Factory Surrender to Court

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A husband and wife whose factory in Bangladesh was consumed by fire in 2012, a disaster that killed 112 employees, surrendered to a court on Sunday in Dhaka, the capital.
In December, more than a year after the fire, the police filed charges of culpable homicide against the owners of the Tazreen factory — Delowar Hossain, and his wife, Mahmuda Akther, along with 11 associates, including the factory’s manager and an engineer.
On the night of the fire, more than 1,150 people were in the eight-story building, working on a tight deadline to fill orders for international buyers. When the fire broke out and an alarm sounded, some managers told their employees to ignore the alarm and continue to work.
As the fire spread, many workers found themselves trapped in smoke-filled staircases or behind windows that were covered with iron grilles.
Mr. Hossain’s lawyer, A. T. M. Golam Gous, whose motion for bail was rejected on Sunday, argued that Mr. Hossain and Ms. Akther were not present at the time of the fire and had “neither direct involvement nor indirect involvement” in it. Mr. Gous said he would appeal the denial of bail.
A state prosecutor, Anwarul Kabir, meanwhile, argued that the owners had failed to make the necessary arrangements to ensure the safety and security of the workers.
Because the owners are “the...
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