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Bangladesh: Another factory fire breaks out as thousands protest previous deadly blaze

Thousands of people protested over a garment factory fire that killed more than 120 people this weekend, even as another blaze broke out at a different plant.

Bangladesh garment factory fire protests 26 11 2012Enlarge
A Bangladeshi soldier walks through rows of burnt sewing machines after a fire in the nine-storey Tazreen Fashion plant near Dhaka on November 25, 2012. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of people protested in Bangladesh today after this weekend's deadly fire at a garment factory – even as another blaze broke out at a different textiles plant.

At least eight people are reported injured in Monday's fire at the Euro-Bangla Garment building in a suburb of the capital, Dhaka, the BBC said. No one was killed.

In contrast, the fire that broke out late on Saturday at the Tazreen Fashions factory near Dhaka took as many as 124 lives, according to reports, making it the deadliest fire ever to hit Bangladesh's garment industry.

On Monday, workers and other protesters blocked nearby streets and threw stones at factories to demand justice, the Wall Street Journal reported.

They accuse factories of routinely neglecting to implement safety measures, including fire exits.

"Whenever a fire or accident occurs, the government sets up an investigation and the authorities — including factory owners — pay out some money and hold out assurances to improve safety standards and working conditions," the president of Bangladesh's National Garment Workers Federation, Amirul Haque Amin, told Reuters. "But they never do it."

More from GlobalPost: Bangladesh garment workers brave deadly fires to make luxury American clothing

According to an investigation by the Globe and Mail, the Tazreen factory's owners, the Tuba Group, have repeatedly been criticized by safety auditors for "sealed exits, blocked stairwells, lack of fire-fighting equipment or fire alarms, failure to post exit signs or light stairwells, poor wiring and lack of evacuation plans."

Fire department officials believe it was the lack of an emergency exit that resulted in so many deaths this weekend, the Associated Press said.

The government has ordered an investigation into the fire, CNN reported. It has also declared this Tuesday a national day of mourning for the victims, during which all of Bangladesh's more than 4,000 garment factories will be closed.

As GlobalPost has reported as part of a series on workers' rights, the garment manufacturing sector wields enormous influence in Bangladesh.

Maher Sattar wrote for GlobalPost back in May: "Foreign brands are flocking to Dhaka to take advantage of the lowest wages in the world [...] And according to labor activists, local factory owners, international retailers and the country's government want to keep it that way — often with great success."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/bangladesh/121126/bangladesh-garment-factory-fire-dhaka-protest