The official inquiry into a garment factory fire that killed more than 100 workers in Bangladesh last month has concluded that the fire was deliberately set, though it can't say who did it or why. The report also lays numerous safety violations and some rather despicable actions by mangers, even though it contradicts earlier claims that the fire was started by poor wiring. Despite not giving details on the cause, the leader of the committee behind the inquiry has suggested murder charges be brought against the owner and nine of his mid-level managers for allowing the poor conditions that contributed the large number of deaths.
Among the claims of negligence are the fact that the building was nine stories high even though it was only zoned for three; that all the exits and stairwells led to the ground floor (and were not made fire- and smoke-proof); and that the fire safety certificate had lapsed almost six months earlier. Three supervisors at the factory have already been arrested for allegedly padlocking exits and refusing to allow workers to leave after the fire started. Many workers were trapped inside as the building burned, or jumped from higher floors to try and escape. The factory produced clothes for dozens of Western retailers and designers, including Wal-Mart and Sean Combs's label, Sean John.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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