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17 Dec 2012

Lawsuit against Tazreen Fashions (re factory fire in Bangladesh)


Date lawsuit was filed
17 Dec 2012
Location of Filing: Bangladesh
Location of Incident: Bangladesh
Type of Litigation: Domestic



Snapshot: In 2013, police filed charges against 13 people for arson, murder, and death by negligence for a fire which broke out in a garment factory which killed 112 people. Those charges included the factory owners. The case is ongoing. 

On 24 November 2012, a fire broke out at the Tazreen Fashions garment factory, which manufactured clothes for various international brands. More than 1150 people were inside the factory at the time. 112 employees died and more than 200 were injured in the fire. Fire officials say the blaze broke out in the open-air ground floor, where large mounds of fabric and yarn were illegally stored. Managers and security guards on some floors reportedly ordered employees to ignore the fire alarm and continue to work. Smoke and fire spread throughout the building, and the windows were secured with iron grilles making it impossible for employees to escape. The building itself lacked safety features.

In December 2013, police filed charges against 13 people for arson, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and death by negligence, which were accepted by the magistrate judge. Among those charged were the factory owners, husband Delowar Hossain wife Mahmuda Akter, as well as factory managers and security guards. A Dhaka court issued arrest warrants on 31 December 2013 after six of the 13 people charged failed to appear in court after the charged were filed. Delowar Hossain and Mahmuda Akter surrendered six weeks after the arrest warrants were issued and were placed in jail. They were denied bail and placed in jail. Mr Hossein denies any responsibility. All of the 13 charged face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

“Tazreen chairperson’s bail scrapped”, Bangladesh News 24 hours, 20 Mar 2014
“Justice for Bangladesh’s Workers”, New York Times, 11 Feb 2014
“Months After Deadly Fire, Owners of Bangladesh Factory Surrender to Court”, Julfikar Manik & Ellen Barry, New York Times, 9 Feb 2014
“Bangladesh Orders Arrest of Factory Owners for Deadly Fire”, AFP in Jakarta Globe, 31 Dec 2013
“Bangladeshi Factory Owners Charged in Fire That Killed 112”, Gardiner Harris, New York Times, 22 Dec 2013
“Bangladesh Finds Gross Negligence in Factory Fire”Julfikar Ali Manik & Jim Yardley, New York Times, 17 Dec 2012