Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Bangladesh factory fire that killed 111 caused by sabotage, inquiry chief says

A firefighter tries to control a fire at a garment factory in Savar, outskirts of Dhaka, November 24, 2012. At least seven people died and over 100 were injured as a fire broke out at Tazreen Fashions Limited in Savar on Saturday evening, police said..

ANDREW BIRAJ/REUTERS

A fire that killed 111 workers at a Bangladesh garment factory last month was caused by sabotage and managers at the plant prevented victims from escaping, the head of an official inquiry said Monday.

"We have found that the fire that gutted Tazreen Fashion factory in Ashulia was an act of sabotage," Main Uddin Khandaker told AFP after submitting a report into the November 24 tragedy to the government.

"The statements of the witnesses revealed that it was an act of sabotage. There was no possibility of the fire originating due to an electric short-circuit or any other reason."

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Khandaker did not suggest who might have carried out the sabotage or why.

He also said his inquiry team would recommend that the owner of the factory in the Ashulia industrial district near the capital Dhaka should face murder charges for gross negligence.

"There was also gross negligence on the part of the owner. We have suggested legal action against him and nine of his mid-level managers who barred the workers from leaving the burning factory," he said.

The owner of the plant, Delwar Hossain, told reporters after the blaze that he believed it was started deliberately but gave no details.

Fire investigators have said the nine-storey factory, which made clothing for Western retailers such as Walmart and C&A, lacked a valid safety licence at the time and only had permission for three floors.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.