A boiler has exploded at a Bangladeshi garment factory killing 10 people and injuring dozens, fire officials said on Tuesday, the latest mishap to hit one of the world’s biggest garment producers. The accident happened late on Monday at a plant of Multifabs Limited, a Bangladeshi company on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, a fire official said.
The firm supplies knitted apparel to clients in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Spain, Netherlands and Britain, including to Littlewoods, one of Britain’s oldest retail brands, according to its website.
“Nine people were killed in the blast and one died in hospital,” fire service official Palash Chandra Modak said.
The company said the plant was functioning well and the boiler had just been serviced. “This was an accident. Everything was fine,” Mahiuddin Faruqui, company chairman and managing director told Reuters.
“The boiler was running well. After servicing when workers were trying to restart it, it went off.” Bangladesh’s garment-making industry, the biggest in the world after China’s, employs four million people and generates 80 percent of its export earnings.
Multifabs started operating in 1992, and reached $70 million in exports in 2016, supplying European brands such as fashion chain Lindex, which is part of Finnish retailer Stockmann and Aldi, Faruqui said.
Bangladesh’s garment sector came under scrutiny after the collapse of a factory complex in 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, and a fire at a garment factory in 2012 that killed 112 workers.
Activists have criticized many retailers for failing to improve working conditions in their supply chains with long hours, low pay, poor safety standards and not being allowed to form trade unions common complaints of garment workers.
Here is a look at some of the worst industrial accidents in Bangladesh, since 2005:
* January 2005 – A fire at a garment factory outside Dhaka kills 22 people and injures more than 50.
* April 2005 – At least 64 people are killed and about 100 injured when a garment factory building collapsed in Dhaka.
* February 2006 – A garment factory building collapses in Dhaka killing 21 workers and injuring dozens.
* February 2006 – A fire at a textile factory in the port city of Chittagong kills 65 workers and injures dozens.
* February 2010 – A fire at a garment factory in a Dhaka suburb kills 21 workers and injures about 50.
* December 2010 – A fire at a factory supplying global retailers kills 26 people and injures about 100 near Dhaka.
* November 2012 – A fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory supplying western brands in Dhaka, kills 112 workers and injures more than 150. The blaze, believed to have been caused by a short circuit, was the deadliest factory fire in Bangladesh.
* April 2013 – At least 1,136 people are killed and hundreds injured when an eight-storey building housing five garment factories supplying global brands collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka. The collapse of the Rana Plaza was the worst industrial accident in Bangladesh and the world’s most deadly industrial accident since the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India.
* August 2016 – More than 100 people fall ill in Bangladesh after inhaling gas that leaked from a fertilizer factory in the town of Chittagong.
* September 2016 – A fire at Tampaco Foils, a food and cigarette packaging factory, north of Dhaka kills at least 34 people and injures dozens.