European buyers for evacuation of 2 quake-hit RMG factories

Staff Correspondent

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, the platform of European retailers, on Tuesday recommended that two earthquake-hit garment factories should be evacuated immediately as the Accord engineers found the buildings unsafe during the latest safety assessment.
The factories are Ethical Garments Limited in the capital and Man Trust Sweater Limited in Gazipur.
The Accord sent the list of the factories to the government-formed review committee on garment factory inspections.
‘We have found the name of two factories from Accord. The ongoing post-earthquake safety assessment of the retailers group identified that cracks have developed in the factory buildings due to foreshocks of earthquake,’ Syed Ahmed, Inspector General of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, told New Age on Tuesday.
He said that the Accord recommended for immediate evacuation of the factory buildings.
Syed said that the next course regarding the two factories would be finalised following the inspection of review committee, comprised of representatives from the government, Accord, Alliance, BUET, BGMEA and BKMEA.
To identify the immediate impact of the April 25 earthquake, that jolted Nepal, Bangladesh and some parts of India and China, the Accord started inspection of roughly 200 factories which were deemed structurally the most vulnerable from its initial inspections.
Up to Monday the platform inspected 61 factories and found cracks in three units.
Accord officials said that all 11 Accord structural engineers were in the field doing immediate impact inspections at the factories and they were utilising an internationally-recognised system for these immediate inspections.
After the Rana Plaza factory collapse on April 24, 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, the EU brands and retailers including H&M, Carrefour and Mango, as well as 14 American companies formed Accord and the platform started safety inspection in more than 1,500 garment factories that supply to the Accord’s members.
During the inspection the structural integrity in 17 buildings was found below an acceptable level of safety and the platform recommended a government-set review panel for temporary evacuation of the buildings.
As per the recommendation, 24 factories in nine buildings were closed while four factories in five buildings were partially closed.

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