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Last Updated: Monday, 3 May, 2004, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
'Six die' in Bangladesh stampede
Injured garment worker being carried for treatment in Dhaka
An injured woman is taken for treatment
At least six women have been killed in a stampede at a clothing factory in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, according to officials.

The women were crushed to death when hundreds of people rushed for the exits during a fire alarm on Monday.

At least 30 people were also injured in the stampede in the six-storey building in Dhaka's Mirpur district.

The fire, caused by a transformer exploding, was soon put out but caused workers to panic and jam stairwells.


One injured worker, Moshammat Nahar, told the Associated Press news agency: "Some people raised a fire alarm and we all started for the stairs. We all thought the fire was in our building."

Trying to get out was terrifying; no one really knew what to do
Zahirul Islam, worker

Doctors at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital said about 35 injured workers were being treated there.

Fire service officials and police say that an investigation has been ordered into the cause of the accident.

Accidents in clothing factories were not uncommon a few years ago but the situation improved considerably with the introduction of new safety measures.

The last serious accident was a stampede in August 2001, when at least 20 workers were killed.

Bangladesh earns around $5bn a year in clothing exports, mainly to the US and the European Union.

The industry employs nearly two million workers, most of whom are women.

Textile struggles in Bangladesh
04 Sep 03  |  Business

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