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Bangladeshi police charge 13 in deadly factory fire last year

By Farid Ahmed, CNN
updated 6:31 AM EST, Sun December 22, 2013
This file photo shows the aftermath of the blaze that tore through the nine-story Tazreen Fashion plant in Bangladesh last year.
This file photo shows the aftermath of the blaze that tore through the nine-story Tazreen Fashion plant in Bangladesh last year.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Top factory officials as well as security guards are charged
  • Most of the fatalities in the fire were female workers
  • More than 200 people were injured

Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) -- Bangladeshi police charged 13 people after a deadly apparel factory fire left 112 dead last year, authorities said Sunday.

Most of the fatalities in the fire in the outskirts of Dhaka were female workers. More than 200 people were injured in the blaze.

"The Criminal Investigation Department has submitted the charges to the court," inspector Mohammad Assaduzzaman said.

Suspects include the owner of the company Tazreen Fashion and his wife, who is the chairwoman.

A look at Bangladesh factory conditions
Bangladesh's garment factory scrutiny
Bangladesh factory kills workers

Following the report by police, court officials will hold a hearing before bringing formal charges against the suspects. Others accused are top factory officials as well as security guards.

Earlier, a government committee had said the factory fire on November 24 last year was an "act of sabotage".

It said the owner of the factory should be held responsible for gross negligence and lack of safety measures.

Almost half of the victims were burned beyond recognition, and were buried under government supervision after DNA samples were taken.

"The owner of the factory should be brought to justice, as we find that proper safety measures could have lessened the fatalities," said Main Uddin Khandaker, head of the government committee.

Factory owner Delwar Hossain was not available for comment Sunday. He's admitted to local media that his factory lacked proper safety measures, but said he was not aware of it.

Days after the fire, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also called it a "planned arson."

The garment industry in the nation makes up 80% of Bangladesh's $24 billion in annual exports.

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