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Bangladesh factory collapsei

The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh killed 1,129 people, ranking among the world’s worst industrial accidents and spurred retailers and clothing brands to improve safety standards at suppliers.

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Large factories linked to foreign enterprises boosted safety standards in wake of tragedy that claimed 1,134 lives, but other facilities remain at risk, according to study

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Labour umbrella groups Industrial Global Union and UNI Global Union yesterday praised top retailers for joining their drive to make Bangladesh's garment factories safer, after 1,127 people died in a factory collapse last month.

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Wal-Mart Stores, the American chain that is the world's largest retailer, said it would not accept "at this time" an agreement to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh that is supported by labour monitoring groups and signed by several other retailers this week.

Hundreds of factories which form the hub of Bangladesh's garment industry are to close indefinitely after worker unrest sparked by the death of more than 1,100 colleagues, employees announced yesterday.

On April 24, Reshma Begum was working in a factory on the second floor of Rana Plaza when the building began collapsing around her. She raced down a stairwell into the basement, where she became trapped near a Muslim prayer room in a wide space that allowed her to survive.

Masood Reza, a leading Bangladesh architect and a professor at a state-run university, said he felt “pain and anguish” when he saw footage of the garment workers trapped under the pancaked floors, crying desperately for help.

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