The garment factory in Bangladesh where a weekend fire killed at least 112 people had been making clothes for Wal-Mart without the giant U.S. retailer's knowledge, Wal-Mart said. Wal-Mart said the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory was no longer authorized to produce merchandise for Wal-Mart but that a supplier subcontracted work to it "in direct violation of our policies." "Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier," America's biggest retailer said in a statement Monday. "The fact that this occurred is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh."
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. It was also the second deadliest disaster in New York City – after the burning of the General Slocum on June 15, 1904 – until the destruction of the World Trade Center 90 years later. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three; of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was Providenza Panno at 48, and the youngest was 11-year-old Mary Goldstein.
Survivors told how panicked staff, mostly women, desperately tried to escape the factory, which the owner said made clothes for international brands including Dutch chain C&A and the Hong Kong-based Li & Fung company.
"There were more than 1,000 workers trapped in the factory," one worker who gave her name only as Romesa, 42, told local media from her hospital bed.
"I jumped from a window on the fourth floor and found myself on the third-storey roof of another building. Several people fell out of the window and died."