Primark ‘shocked’ by deaths in Bangladesh factory
Last night, it emerged that the budget Irish clothing chain occupied a floor of the building and that workers were suppliers to the brand.
“The company is shocked and deeply saddened by this appalling incident at Savar, near Dhaka, and expresses its condolences to all of those involved,” a company spokeswoman said. “Primark confirms that one of its suppliers occupied the second floor of the eight-storey building, which housed several suppliers to the garment industry making clothing for a number of brands.
“Primark has been engaged for several years with NGOs [non-government organisations] and other retailers to review the Bangladeshi industry’s approach to factory standards. Primark will push for this review to also include building integrity.
“Meanwhile, Primark’s ethical trade team is working to collect information, assess which communities the workers come from, and to provide support where possible.”
The Bangladeshi government confirmed that at least 96 people had died in the incident, which also left hundreds injured. About 600 people had to be rescued from the building, located in the country’s capital Dhaka.
Up to 2,000 people were working at the plant at the time of the collapse, the cause of which is as yet unknown.
Buildings in the crowded city of Dhaka are sometimes erected without permission and many do not comply with construction regulations. The disaster yesterday was the latest incident to rock the unregulated garment industry that produces clothes for western consumers.
Dozens died when a garment factory collapsed in the same area eight years ago.