Hundreds Die In Fire At Pakistani Garment Factory

264 people, including a 10-year-old boy, lost their lives in a horrific fire at a garment factory in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, and now the Pakistani government is charging the factory owners with murder.

The government has identified Abdul Aziz, Shahid Baila, and Arshad as the owners of Ali Enterprises, the garment manufacturer who owned the factory. They are currently fugitives and have been placed on the Exit Control List, which bars them form traveling outside Pakistan. They have also been charged with criminal negligence because they were using illegal electricity connections. According to WWD, Karachi police have been conducting raids in order to find them.

Most of the victims died because he building itselfwas completely unsafe to work in. According to fire chief Ehtisham-ud-Din, the building had no emergency exits and was in poor enough condition to slow down rescue efforts. To make matters infinitely worse, the owners had placed bars on the windows and locked all the exits in order to prevent theft. The workers were simply trapped in the blaze, which lasted for 15 hours.

This tragedy has yet again called attention to the fact that factories in developing countries — many of which serve the fashion and apparel industry — often lack even the most basic of safety measures, and that there is a huge need for government regulation. But it’s happened many times before, and the same problems still exist. What do you think should be done to prevent things like this from happening in the future?

[WWD]

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