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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

British retailers' "shock" at deadly Bangladesh factory collapse

Bargain retailer Primark has expressed shock following the death of more than 170 people in the collapse of a building which housed one of its suppliers.

In a statement released on their website, a Primark spokesman said: "The company is shocked and deeply saddened by this appalling incident at Savar, near Dhaka, and expresses its condolences to all of those involved.

"Primark confirms that one of its suppliers occupied the second floor of the eight storey building, which housed several suppliers to the garment industry making clothing for a number of brands.

"Primark has been engaged for several years with NGOs and other retailers to review the Bangladeshi industry's approach to factory standards. Primark will push for this review to also include building integrity.

"Meanwhile Primark's ethical trade team is at this moment working to collect information, assess which communities the workers come from, and to provide support where possible."

Bonmarché, who were also supplied clothes made in the factory, said their "thoughts are with the victims and their families."

The eight-story Rana Plaza collapsed during the early morning rush hour on Wednesday killing 174 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Police say more than 2000 people had been working inside the building at the time of the crash.
Inspectors had reported seeing cracks in the building the day before but managers had allegedly forced workers to return to work with the threat of dismissal.

The Bangladeshi garment industry is second only to China's but it has an appalling safety record.
Last year, a fire in another garment factory killed at least 117 people.

Rescuers have rescued some 600 people thus far but reports say dozens of others may have perished under the rubble.

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