Factory Fire in India Kills 13, Injures More

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AP Photo/Altaf Qadri

Factory Fire in India Kills 13, Injures More


Last Friday the news broke that a fire started in a factory just outside New Delhi in the Ghaziabad district, killing 13 workers and injuring 9 more. “The fire broke out at a factory in a residential area of Sahibabad around 4:30am,” Local police spokesman Bhagwat Singh told a local news agency. “Thirteen people, who were sleeping there have died and another two or three people are getting treated at the hospital.”

Local fire worker Abbas Hussein described stacks of leather and the jackets produced there piled through the building, leading to the conclusion that it was likely an illegal factory. “From what we see, there was nothing proper and the factory must surely not have been a legal one but we can say for sure only after a proper investigation.” The workers were sleeping in the factory, and only woke by chance when the fire started, giving them time to begin getting people out of the building.

This is not the first factory catastrophe to bring attention to the country’s lax safety regulations. One commonly cited event is the Rana Plaza Disaster, which killed over 1,100 workers in 2013, not long after the fire outside Daka, Bangladesh, in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory in 2012, which killed over 100 workers and injured scores more. Like the Tazreen Fashions tragedy, the cause of the fire in the most recent incident is thought at this time to be electrical, according to Deepak Kumar, the senior superintendent of police in Ghaziabad.

Carin Leffler of the Clean Clothes Campaign stated that, “Despite the many disasters we have seen before, and the great amount of attention to the dangerous working conditions in the South Asian garment industry, factories there largely remain unsafe. These workers were killed because they were sleeping in the factory. The deep tragedy that took 13 peoples’ lives in Sahibabad this morning shows that there is still a long way to go before workers can feel safe.”

According to the Clean Clothes Campaign website, the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory is among several of the more recent incidences that is creating a push from the public for the safety and health of garment workers. The campaign calls on not only the officials directly involved to increase these measures, but for the entire fashion community that profits from these factories to take measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of garment workers.


Factory Fire in India Kills 13, Injures More

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Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.

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