Amazing, after 17 days a woman was rescued alive from beneath the rubble of the collapsed garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday. However, the death toll has officially risen from 15 to 1,034 -- making the accident the worst the garment industry has ever seen. The collapse, and the fire that took place at a sweater factory in Dhaka earlier this week, highlight the increasing concerns about the dangerous conditions for garment workers, an industry that brings in $20 billion for the small South Asian nation by providing clothing at a low cost to retailers worldwide.
18 documents found in 0 seconds.
- Bhopal disaster
- Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew
- Critical Condition
- Kurt Myers
- NBC News
- New York
- Occupy Sandy
- Occupy Wall Street
- Rana Plaza
- Van Nuys
- barber shop
- block the boat
- building collapse
- car wash
- fire safety
- garment factory
- gun violence
- industrial accident
- locked exit
- textile workers
At least eight people were killed in Bangladesh Thursday after an 11-story garment factory went up in flames. The fire was fueled by huge piles of acrylic products used to make sweaters. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene of the Tung Hai Sweater Ltd. Factory in the capital of Dhaka, the first few floors of the building were already engulfed in flames. Speaking to reporters, the deputy director of the fire service Mamun Mahmud described the occupants' desperate attempt to flee the building. "We recovered all of them on the stairwell on the ninth floor," he said. The deadly fire comes as the death toll from an eight-story building collapse in Dhaka passed 900 this week.
The identities of the victims of Wednesday's fire showed the entanglement of the industry and top Bangladeshi officials. The dead included the factory's managing director, Mahbubur Rahman, who was also on the board of directors of the powerful Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Along with him was senior police official Z.A. Morshed and Sohel Mostafa Swapan, head of a local branch of the ruling party's youth league.
Independent TV, a local station, reported that Rahman had plans to contest next year's elections as a candidate for the ruling party and had been meeting friends to discuss his future when the fire broke out.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which began soon after the factory workers went home for the day and took three hours to bring under control. Mahmud speculated it might have originated in the factory's ironing section. Officials originally said the building also housed several floors of apartments, but later said it was just a factory.
The garment factory building collapse death toll has now climbed to 930 making the collapse of Rana Plaza the world's deadliest industrial accident since India's Bhopal disaster in 1984.
A lone gunman opened fire at a car wash and barber shop in Herkimer and Mohawk, upstate New York. Four people have been killed and at least two injured.
Schools in Herkimer County are on lockdown after the suspect opened fire at two different locations before fleeing, according to local reports.
The shooter opened fire at Gaffey's Car Wash, on Mohawk Street in the village of Herkimer, 65 miles east of Syracuse, killing two people. The gun rampage continued to the nearby area of Mohawk, where the suspect shot four people at John's Barber Shop on Main Street, killing two. There were also reports of an explosion/fire at South Washington Street in Mohawk shortly before the shootings. A report from the Utica Observer-Dispatch indicates the suspect is believed to have lived in that building; "police were seen taking about half a dozen long guns from the residence shortly before 11 a.m. but would not confirm if they belonged to the suspect."
Police are believed to be looking for one suspect, 64-year-old Kurt Myers of Mohawk, who is thought to have used a long gun and fled in a red Jeep with a black top. The vehicle was recovered shortly after 10am this morning in Herkimer, but Myers is still on the run. Police describe Myers as "a 50- to 60-year-old slender white male, about 5-foot-11, with white hair and a white beard, last seen wearing a flannel shirt." Myers is considered "armed and extremely dangerous." Residents are advised to stay indoors and to call 911 if they see him. Police also said they are "familiar" with Myers, but could not comment on any criminal record he may have.
Yet another tragic fire at a factory in Bangladesh's garment district on Saturday has claimed the lives of seven women there, one of whom wasreportedly just 16-years old:
"When I tried to escape through the emergency exit I found the gate locked," Raushan Ara, a worker at the factory, was quoted as saying by Dhaka's Prothom Alo newspaper.
The newspaper said at least 50 people were injured in a stampede triggered by the fire. Six were hospitalized, while others received first aid treatment on their own.
Some of the injured jumped out of the windows of the two-story factory, survivors said.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Monzurul Kabir said the bodies of 7 women were recovered from the top floor of the factoryt. He said the factory was making pants and shirts, but could not provide further details.
Fire official Abdul Halim said it took firefighters about two hours to bring the blaze under control.
Volunteers joined firefighters in battling the fire as a large crowd gathered outside the factory awaiting word on the fate of relatives. Family members were seen crying near the body of a female worker named Josna, who was 16.
About 250 workers were working at the time of the fire, newspapers said.
The owner of the factory, Smart Export Garment Ltd., was not yet not available for comment, so it is not yet known if they produced their garments for any international companies.
Since 2005, over 600 garment factory workers have perished in workplace fires.
A homeless woman in her 60s was set on fire as she slept on a street bench outside of a Walgreens Drug Store in Van Nuys, California early Thursday morning. Witnesses reported seeing a man pour something on the woman, then lighting a match before he fled the scene.
"It was like when you pour gasoline on something -- like an explosion," said witness Erickson Ipina, who added that he often saw the homeless woman in the neighborhood.
The man purchased the bottle containing alcohol in the Walgreens store, then poured the contents on the woman, Ipina told a Newsreel photographer. Ipina said he called 911 and followed the attacker, who brandished a knife.
"He told me, 'Stop following me, or I will cut you,'" Ipina said. "I kept following him and then the police came."
The homeless woman, whose identity is not known at this time, has been hospitalized in critical condition. Police have one person in custody at this time.
Attacks such as this on the homeless are not uncommon, sadly. In the past week alone, a 55-year-old man was also set on fire as he slept outside a donut shop in southern Los Angeles County.
2010 was the “deadliest in a decade,” according to the National Coalition for the Homeless in its latest report on hate crimes against homeless people.
Forty-three homeless people died from acts of violence committed against them by housed individuals who were biased against them and/or found them a conveniently vulnerable target for aggression.
Early Sunday morning, firefighters rushed to put out a two-alarm blaze at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, located on the border between Prospect Heights and Fort Greene. Investigators believe that someone poured gasoline around the building's front doors — two canisters were found nearby — and lit the fire at around 3:30 in the morning. Three Occupy Sandy volunteers were asleep inside at the time (the church has served as one of the movement's headquarters since the hurricane), but no injuries were reported.
"The Rev. Christopher Ballard, the church’s curate, said the flames had caused “significant damage,” burning the wooden doors of two entrances and charring the foyer. The sanctuary, he said, remained largely unscathed. No one was injured.
Though the police said the cause remained under investigation, Father Ballard said the fire had been fueled by a pair of gasoline containers donated to Occupy Sandy volunteers, who had used the church as a staging area for hurricane relief efforts. The gasoline was intended to be used in a generator for a Christmas party in the Rockaways on Sunday night. Father Ballard said the containers had been put outside when the church was cleared of most donated materials to make way for Christmas services.
“Somebody decided to take those canisters, dump them on the doors of the church and set the gas on fire,” he said. “We don’t know why someone would do this, what darkness is in someone’s heart.”
Father Ballard noted that the church had been rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1914. Councilwoman Letitia James, who represents the area, expressed outrage at what she called a hateful arson. “We will find the sick individual who committed this crime,” she said, standing outside the church."
100 firefighters worked to put out the blaze.
Members of the congregation were worried for what the church contained: supplies and Christmas gifts for New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Since the storm struck on October 29, thousands of volunteers, included members of the Occupy Sandy movement, have come to the church to be part of relief efforts.
On Saturday, a group of volunteers wrapped holiday gifts for children affected by Sandy at the church.
"We had about 100 volunteers in the church yesterday, wrapping gifts for children who were displaced by the storm," said Michael Sniffen, the church's rector.
"We've been sending people out to affected areas. We're sending out hot food and clothes, blankets, cleaning supplies, baby supplies, baby food, baby toys," said LJ Marquez, an Occupy Sandy volunteer.
Church members and volunteers said the fire will not hinder their efforts. On Sunday, volunteers were sent to another site, St. John's Episcopal Church in Fort Hamilton.
The Sandy volunteers have pledged to work 7 days a week during the holidays to continue to bring hot meals to Sandy victims in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Volunteers who want to help Occupy Sandy can go to one of the group's bases, with no need to call beforehand. For more information, visit interoccupy.net/occupysandy.
The Church of St. Luke And St. Matthew will reopen for Christmas Eve services at 10 PM and Christmas Day services at 10 AM on December 25th.
Occupy Sandy will not be taking donations until after December 27th, as was previously scheduled.
A man convicted of killing his grandmother decades ago ambushed firefighters on Monday, fatally shooting two of them as they arrived to battle a blaze in upstate New York, police said.
Two other firefighters were wounded in the attack in the Rochester-area town of Webster. A police officer from the nearby town of Greece suffered minor shrapnel wounds when his vehicle was hit by gunfire.
Investigators believe the suspect, William Spengler, 62, set the original fire, then likely set himself up on a berm with a clear view of the scene and started shooting.
"It appears that it was a trap," Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. "There was a car and a house that were involved in flames, probably set by Mr. Spengler, who laid in wait in armament and then shot the first responders."
Authorities do not know how Spengler -- who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after the four firefighters were shot -- obtained the weapon or weapons he used or why he opened fire, Pickering told reporters. As a convicted felon, Spengler was not allowed to legally possess weapons, but he had "several different types of weapons" Monday, the police chief said.
An unknown gunman, who police say is no longer on the scene, opened fire on firefighters as they arrived on the scene this morning in Webster, New York.
Two firefighters have died after being shot at the scene of a fire on Lake Road in Webster early Monday.
Webster Police confirm that another two firefighters were also shot. They are being treated at Strong Memorial Hospital and are both listed in guarded condition.
The report also indicates that the blaze has now spread to three homes, and more firefighters are on the scene now.
And so help me, if Wayne LaPierre calls a press conference on this...
About sixty activists gathered on Tuesday, December 18th outside the Port of Newark to protest the arrival of a ship they said carried Wal-mart goods from Bangladesh. Carrying cardboard tombstones spelling out Walmart’s name, and garments bearing the names of workers who died in the New York City Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the protesters said that the retail giant is culpable for the deaths of 112 workers in a similar fire last month in Bangladesh. Chants included, “One, two three four, don’t let that boat come ashore! Five, six, seven, eight, don’t touch that sh*t, don’t move that freight!”
“The supply chain needs to change…” Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN) organizer Martiza Silva-Farrell told the crowd. “This is a start.”
Wal-Mart had claimed that it had cut ties with the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh, where the deadly blaze took place, but a report earlier this month revealed that Wal-Mart worked with at least five different suppliers there this year. Further, in 2011, the retail giant decided against aiding factory upgrades that could have stopped fires like the deadly blaze.
Another "Block the Boat" protest is scheduled for Thursday at the Port of Charleston. Activists there will also protest the arrival of Wal-Mart goods from Bangladesh, as well as the retail giant's low paying American jobs, and the use of foreign-made goods that lead to job losses here in the U.S.
Documents found among the ruins of the Bangladesh garment factory where over 100 people perished during a fire last month, show that Wal-Mart worked with at least five different suppliers there this year. Further, in 2011, the retail giant decided against aiding factory upgrades that could have stopped fires like the deadly blaze.
Bloomberg News reports:
Wal-Mart said the Tazreen Design Ltd. factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, was no longer authorized to produce merchandise for the company and that it had cut ties with one supplier that kept using the facility. It’s not clear if any other suppliers continued to use the factory, which Wal-Mart had de-authorized before the blaze, the company said.
Purchase orders, shipment statements, inventory reports and other documents show that two New York-based suppliers for Wal- Mart and a third in California had sourced merchandise from Tazreen. Two companies in Bangladesh also manufactured apparel there for Wal-Mart, the records show. As recently as September, five of 14 production lines at the factory were making shirts and pajamas for Wal-Mart, an income report shows.
The Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity photographed the documents. The group passed them on to the Worker Rights Consortium, a labor-rights monitoring group based in Washington, which provided the documents to Bloomberg News. Suppliers cited in the documents include Topson Downs, of Culver City, California. That supplier subcontracted work to Bismillah Sourcing, a Bangladesh firm.
Also among the documents, an e-mail correspondence between a Wal-Mart buyer and IDG (Tazreen produced shorts for Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club brand through IDG) "highlighting the pressure the world’s largest retailer puts on its suppliers."
In a January e-mail, Wal-Mart's buyer requests and early delivery of 266 pairs of shorts from IDG for a new store opening, and IDG complied. Numerous other documents show that "tens of thousands" of the same pairs of shorts were made at Tazreen for IDG since at least the first quarter of 2012.
In 2011, Walmart reportedly decided against aiding factory upgrades that could have stopped fires like the deadly blaze at the Tazreen garment factory.
During an April meeting, Bangladeshi suppliers reached out to retailers of their garments with a plan that would help upgrade their facilities to make them more fire-proof -- other retailers approved the plan -- only to have it fall through when Wal-mart and the Gap refused to pay higher prices to make such upgrades feasible.
Another fire broke out at a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, two days after a blaze at a separate clothing factory killed at least 121 people.
The fire broke out on the third floor of the 12-story building, which houses four different garment factories. Some of the building’s workers are trapped on the rooftop, firefighters reported.
Al Jazeera reports that some workers had been trapped on the roof by the new fire, but authorities said that although they were still searching the building, they believed most had escaped and there were no reported deaths.
"We don't have any casualties but the firefighters will search the building and see whether anyone has been suffocated," said Nisharul Arif, Dhaka deputy commissioner of police.
About 15,000 Bangladeshi workers protested blocks from the gutted fire Monday, demanding justice for the victims and improved safety. Some 200 factories were closed for the day after the protest erupted in Savar, a suburb of Dhaka, the capital.
Protesters blocked a major highway, and some threw stones at factories and smashed vehicles, but there were no arrests and no clashes with police.
More details emerge on the deadly garment factory fire on Saturday:
Survivor Mohammad Ripu said Monday that he tried to run out of the building when the fire alarm rang but was stopped.
"Managers told us, 'Nothing happened. The fire alarm had just gone out of order. Go back to work,'" Ripu said. "But we quickly understood that there was a fire. As we again ran for the exit point we found it locked from outside, and it was too late."
Ripu said he jumped from a second-floor window and suffered minor injuries.
Another surviving worker, Yeamin, who uses only one name, said fire extinguishers in the factory didn't work, "So these were meant just to impress the buyers or authority."