DHAKA, Sept 3 (Reuters) – A Bangladesh court on Thursday charged the owners of a garment factory and 11 staff with homicide in connection with the deaths of 112 workers in the country’s worst industrial blaze nearly three years ago.
The court indicted Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, the owners of the Tazreen Fashions, and 11 employees, including factory managers and security guards, in connection with the November 24, 2012, fire on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.
The trial will start on Oct. 1, public prosecutor Khandakar Abdul Mannan told reporters. If convicted, they could face life in prison.
Many of those who died in the multi-storey building died because supervisors ordered workers back to their stations even as an alarm rang and smoke rose through an internal staircase.
Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China, raised wages for garment workers and allowed workers to form trade unions in 2013 after a string of factory accidents thrust poor pay and conditions into the international spotlight.
The $25 billion export industry, which supplies many Western brands, came under scrutiny again when a building housing factories collapsed in 2013, killing more than 1,130 people.