The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of European buyers and retailers, has asked Natural Sweater Village Ltd, a readymade garment factory, to evacuate a portion of its factory building as the part was damaged critically by a gas explosion on December 10.
A female worker who worked at a nearby garment factory was killed and at least three others were injured when a wall of Natural Sweater collapsed on them after a gas cylinder exploded at the factory at Ashulia, on the outskirts of the Dhaka city.
Deceased Reema Akter was walking past the area at the time of explosion.
Following the incident, an Accord team of fire, electrical and structural safety engineers conducted a post-explosion inspection at the factory and identified critical structural and electrical damages.
‘The explosion has severely weakened the structure of the gas supply room area and caused damage to electrical cables and wiring in this area. The relevant Accord signatories have requested that NSVL im mediately evacuate the gas supply and fabric/yarn warehouse areas of the factory until urgent structural and electrical remediation work is completed and verified by the Accord engineers,’ the platform said in a release on Friday.
During the inspection, the Accord engineers found evidence of gas leaks in non-compliant gas cylinders and problems with the burner control box used to fuel two boilers in the factory.
The Accord in its release said that the accident underscored the importance of boiler safety inspections and remediation monitoring in its supplier factories in Bangladesh.
‘This work will continue under the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) when the Accord programme transitions to this new organisation governed by brands, trade unions and manufacturers at the end of May 2020,’ the platform said.
Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 24, 2013, that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, EU retailers formed the Accord undertaking a plan which set timeframes and
accountability for inspections and training and workers’ empowerment programmes.
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