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In the past 25 years Bangladesh has become a leading exporter of ready-made garments. As production has increased, so have deadly fires in many unregulated, unsafe, illegal factories. In late November 2012, a hideous fire in the Tazreen Fashion Factory will take the lives of 132 workers. Tazreen has no fire certification, no fire escapes, defunct fire extinguishers, narrow staircases that lead not outside the building but into the ground flooor where the fire has started.  Many windows are barred.  It will take 17 hours to contain the fire; most victims are burned beyond recognition.  Less than 6 months later, Rana Plaza, an even larger building in Dhaka, collapses. Rana Plaza was built on a swampy marsh and had additional floors built illegally; it was designed for offices and shops, never intended to bear the weight of heavy machinery.  On April 23, 2013, cracks open in the walls and the building is evacuated. The next day banks and offices stay closed, but factory owners force their frightened workers back into the building. Within minutes of opening on the morning of April 24, Rana Plaza collapses. Thousands of workers are trapped in the hideous, twisted, shifting mountain of concrete and torn rebar. Rescuers will pull hundreds from the rubble, many severely injured, many enduring on--site amputation of crushed arms and legs.  The death toll now stands at 1,348. There is a growing international movement demanding that global corporations face their responsibility for their entire supply chain, but meaningful reform--and the funds to pay for it and support survivors and orphans--are too slow in coming.

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