Accord Statement on Recent Fires at Accord Listed RMG Factories

12 June 2016

In the past several weeks, fires occurred at 4 (four) Accord listed RMG factories. The name, date of the fire, and address of these factories are:

Factory Name Date of the Fire Address
Tanaz Fashions Ltd. 14 May 2016 216 Shatiash Road, Shamim Complex, Gazipura, Tongi, Gazipur
Alema Textiles Ltd. 16 May 2016 Vogra, Bashan Sarak, Gazipur
Target Fine Wear Ltd. 2 June 2016 Alauddin Chowdhury Tower, Outpara, Chandara, Chowrasta, Joydevpur, Gazipur
Raiyan Knit Composite Ltd. 4 June 2016 Hortokitola, Chandra, Kaliakor, Gazipur

There were no reported fatalities or injuries, excepting the injuries to employees who attempted to fight the fires, which are described below.

The fire at Tanaz Fashions Ltd. occurred at 4:15 pm and was contained to a non-production (storage) area where remediation work, required under the Accord inspections, was underway. 2 (two) workers who fought the fire suffered injuries (smoke inhalation, laceration on the hand). Neither required hospitalization. Both were treated on-site by the factory medical team. Fire Department personnel arrived at 5:00 pm to hose the smoldering remnants. At the time of the fire, installation of fire doors and the fire alarm system and construction of fire separations was ongoing but not completed. Accord engineers conducted a post-fire inspection on 15 May 2016 and determined the factory could resume production while ongoing remediation work is accelerated.

The fire at Alema Textiles Ltd. was contained to the 6th floor of the building. The fire occurred at 10:45 pm. Employees had completed the day’s work shift by 7:30 pm. Fire doors which were properly installed served to contain the fire. Security guards at the factory attempted to fight the fire with an existing hydrant system. Fire Department personnel arrived at 11:45 pm and brought the fire under control at 3:15 am. At the time of the fire, the required fire alarm system was in the design approval process. The required sprinkler system design was approved but sprinkler system installation had not yet started. Accord engineers conducted a post-fire inspection on 17 May 2016. Significant structural damage occurred from the intense heat of the fire. Associated damage to steel reinforced slabs and columns requires demolition of the 6th floor and rooftop floor. The factory has been evacuated until such time that urgent structural remediation is completed.

The fire at Target Fine Wear Ltd. occurred at 10:30 pm and was contained to a yarn store area located on the ground floor. 18 (eighteen) workers from the adjacent Jacquard knitting section were in the factory at the time of the fire. Several employees in the factory attempted to fight the fire utilizing an existing hydrant system. Fire Department personnel arrived at 11:00 pm and brought the fire under control at 12:00 am. At the time of the fire, most of the required fire alarm system was installed (including in the affected yarn store area) but not yet commissioned. Required fire doors had been purchased and delivered with installation in process. Accord engineers conducted a post-fire inspection on 15 May 2016 and determined the factory could resume production while ongoing remediation work is accelerated.

The fire at Raiyan Knit Composite Ltd. occurred at 11:30 am in the yarn and fabric inspection area on the first floor of the building. Approximately 15 workers were in the area when the fire broke out. 220 additional workers were in the adjacent cutting section. A properly constructed fire separation, required under the Accord inspections, prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the factory outside the inspection area. Most of the workers in the area evacuated the building when the fire alarm system sounded. Several workers however, remained in the factory to attempt to fight the fire using the hydrant system installed in the factory. Fire Department personnel arrived at 12:00 pm and brought the fire under control at 5:30 pm. 12 (twelve) workers who fought the fire suffered injuries (smoke inhalation). Several of them were treated at a nearby clinic and released. At the time of the fire, most of the required fire doors and fire alarm system had been installed. Accord engineers conducted a post-fire inspection on 5 June 2016 and determined the factory could resume production while ongoing remediation work is accelerated. The areas on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors directly above the area of the fire however, have been evacuated until additional structural assessment is completed.

The Accord strongly discourages employees of a factory attempting to fight fires. Hydrant systems are required in factories for use by trained, professional firefighters not for use by employees. The only persons who should be fighting fires are professionally trained, fully equipped and properly protected fire fighters. Persons in a building where a fire has broken out should immediately evacuate the building in an orderly manner.

These fires highlight that while progress is being made to make RMG factories safe, the remediation work must be accelerated and completed on an urgent basis. The Accord will continue to monitor the situation at these factories and continue its work to make RMG factories in Bangladesh safe.

Download the statement here