Walmart has revealed that the factory in Bangladesh where a fire killed 112 people was making clothes for the retail giant - apparently without its knowledge. Campaigners say items for the clothing line of rapper Diddy were also produced there.
Walmart said the Tazreen Fashions Ltd factory was no longer authorised to produce clothes for its range, but work had been sub-contracted by a supplier in violation of its policies. It said it had ended its relationship with the supplier.
The retailer and Diddy (formerly P Diddy, aka Sean Combs) are just the latest in a series of Western brands linked to the factory. Carrefour, Ikea and C&A clothes were also produced there, according to reports.
The fire on Sunday was among the deadliest of a number of blazes in garment factories in Bangladesh in recent years.
With small profit margins, the producers often skip safety and health regulations as they rush to fill orders for European and US markets.
Survivors from the fire have told reporters that an exit door was locked and that extinguishers did not work.
Campaigners appealed to Diddy to demand better working conditions after releasing images that appeared to show dozens of images of the clothes labels from inside the factory.
Yesterday, Bangladesh held a day of mourning for those killed. Firefighters recovered at least 100 bodies from the premises of the factory. Another12 died in hospital after jumping from the building.
* 315+ people killed in fires in Bangladesh garment factories since 2006.
* 4000 garment factories in Bangladesh.
* $20b annual export earnings from garment exports, mainly to US and Europe.
- IndependentBy Andrew Buncombe