8 Dead In Bangladesh Garment Factory Fire

Eight people are dead after a fire roared through a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the BBC reported late Wednesday evening.

According to officials, the blaze occurred in the Mirpur industrial district at a factory owned by garment exporter Tung Hai Group. The fire broke out after many workers had left for the day, police said, according to Reuters.

Tung Hai Group says it has more than 1,000 employees, and its customers include large Western retailers including Britain's Primark and Spain's Inditex Group, Reuters noted.

The fire comes just two weeks after the collapse of Rana Plaza, an eight-story industrial garment building near Dhaka, the capitol. The number of people who perished in the collapse of that eight-story structure climbed past 800, the BBC reported. Reuters said there were 892 deaths from that fire.

Among the eight people killed in Wednesday’s fire were a police officer and Tung Hai's managing director. 

It's believed that the company's owner was conducting a meeting in the 11-story building when the fire broke out.

"It is not clear to us how the accident happened, but we are trying to find out the cause," Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told Reuters.

The collapse of Rana Plaza, which was Bangladesh's biggest factory disaster, has led to scrutiny of the country's industrial-work conditions, and Wednesday's fire will surely lead to even more. Bangladesh officials said 18 garment buildings would be shut down because of their failures to meet safety regulations.

Bangladesh has one of the world's largest garment industries, which makes clothes sold at retailers such as Wal-Mart, Joe Fresh, JCPenney and the Children’s Place, according to Salon.com.

The booming industry reportedly makes up about 80 percent of the country’s annual exports and employs nearly 4 million people, but it has been harshly criticized for its low wages and poor work conditions. 

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