A Sunday fire at Cordial Design Ltd. in Bangladesh forced workers to escape through windows and scale a makeshift plank to reach safety, according to local media reports. There were no fatalities, but multiple employees were injured and had to be taken to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, although officials believe the blaze started in the garment factory’s storeroom.
It took 13 fire engines to extinguish the fire, which damaged Cordial materials. The factory employs about 1,200 people, operates a dozen sewing lines and produces up to 500,000 clothing pieces each month. Cordial manufacturers apparel goods for Asian and European brands and retailers like Tesco, Inditex and Primark. Earlier, it had been reported that Li & Fung used the Cordial facility, but the company does not do any business with the factory.
Following a tragic string of factory incidents in the Asian country, government officials have joined groups like the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to inspect facilities and improve working conditions. Another organization – The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety – released an annual report in July showing it has inspected all of its 587 member factories. However, there are 3,500 factories in Bangladesh, leaving many inspections incomplete, experts say.