BANGLADESH: Government "charging" Aswad owners over fatal fire
The Bangladeshi government is understood to be filing criminal charges against the owners of Aswad Composite Mills, which caught fire last year killing seven workers.
A week before the fatal blaze, the factory, which produces material for Kmart and Target, was issued with a formal notification by the government stating the building was unsafe for work, according to WA Today.
However, despite an order to fix the more serious problems, the factory continued to operate without modification, the publication noted.
More than 50 people were injured in the blaze at Aswad Composite Mills Limited, part of the Palmal Group, in October. 135 of the factory complex's 2,000 strong workforce were inside the two-story building when the blaze took hold.
The incident happened less than six months after the Rana Plaza building collapsed killing 1,132 garment workers, and was described as "shocking, but not surprising" by the IndustriAll global union.
Aswad's owners deny there were any faults with the factory, saying criminal charges being laid by the government are "false and fabricated". They also claim the warning letter is part of a "government cover-up".
Last month, police in Bangladesh reportedly charged the owners of the Tazreen Fashions garment factory and 11 of their employees with culpable homicide in the deaths of 112 workers in a fire in November.
The fires have come to symbolise poor working conditions in the country's dominant textile industry.
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