Tremor panic hits RMG production

Staff Correspondent
Garment workers gather outside the factory at Shewrapara of Mirpur in the capital after rushing out of their workplace as an earthquake jolted the country on Saturday. — Focusbangla photo

Garment workers gather outside the factory at Shewrapara of Mirpur in the capital after rushing out of their workplace as an earthquake jolted the country on Saturday. — Focusbangla photo

An earthquake that jolted the country just past Saturday noon hampered production in about 50 per cent readymade garment factories across the country, said industry people.
The authorities in many factories had to suspend their operations as their workers, who rushed out of the factories for safety, did not come back in the consequence of the tremor aftershock, they said.
A day after the second anniversary of shocking Rana Plaza building collapse that killed scores of garment workers the quake sent a shockwave among the factory employees.
Following the earthquake, a rumour spread among the workers that many factory buildings had developed cracks and Rana Plaza-like disaster might occur, a factory owner told New Age in the evening.
‘So, many workers left their workplaces and did not return for the day,’ he said.
In some areas in the city, factory owners declared holiday for the day following the earthquake.
The factory owners were generous to declare the holiday as they did not want to take any risk of casualties, said another owner.
Along with the garment workers, thousands of people were seen coming out of buildings and establishments hurriedly during the tremor in the capital, although the presence of people was thin in commercial buildings and other offices in the city as the day was a weekly holiday.
More than hundred people including garment workers sustained injuries in the capital and on the outskirts of Dhaka while rushing out for quick exit when the tremor hit, according to different sources.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Sahidullah Azim told New Age that about half of the workers in about 50 per cent readymade garment factories did not come back to their workplaces after the lunch break as the quake created serious panic among them.
‘It is not abnormal that the factory workers will try to rush out of the buildings during earthquake and the loss of production for the sudden natural calamity is not considerable as safety should be the first priority,’ Azim said.
He also said that no cracks developed in any factory buildings and no building tilted because of the earthquake.
MA Rahim, director of Dulal and Brothers, said that following the earthquake they suspended work in their units and the workers were asked to join after the lunch break, but some of the employees did not come back.
Most of the workers came back but they cannot resume work due to panic that a section of people spread rumour that tremor might hit again at 4:00pm, he said.

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