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60 percent of Bangladesh garment factories 'vulnerable to collapse', says survey

Read more on:    Bangladesh | Uk
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A majority of garment factories in are in danger of collapse, according to a survey by engineers in the country.

The survey comes following the last month collapse of the Dhaka factory, in which more than 1000 people, mainly young women, making clothes for retailers such as Primark, were killed in one of the world's worst industrial accidents, the Guardian reports.

According to the report, the survey is the work of a team of engineers from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), who have surveyed so far a sixth of 600 buildings that house more than 3,000 clothes factories, as well as examining soil tests and original plans.

The report further said that the survey's revelations that three-fifths or 60 percent of garment factories in Bangladesh are vulnerable to collapse putting in risk the lives of millions of Bangladeshi workers, will concern western retailers which are now moving to improve security and conditions in the Bangladesh factories that supply their shops.

According to the report, two different agreements among western firms such as Primark, Walmart, Carrefour, HandM, Gap, Tesco are being negotiated to improve working conditions, under which, retailers can be theoretically committed to take measures that would prevent another tragedy, as well as providing funds for improvements.

Bangladesh is the world's second biggest supplier of clothes, of which more than 80 percent are exported to Europe or the US.

The 13 billion-pound industry employs about 3.5 million people, mainly young women, and is a major foreign currency earner for Bangladesh, the report added.

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