Uttar Pradesh, illegal jeans factory burns down killing 13 workers in their sleep

The employees were sleeping in a room beside the sewing machines. The flames flared after a short circuit. Poor safety conditions. In 2013, over 40 thousand victims out of about 402 million workers.


New Delhi (AsiaNews) - In the early hours of today, a huge fire spread in an illegal jeans factory in Sahibabad in Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh district), overcoming workers who slept in a small room next to the sewing machines. There were 16 employees in the structure: 13 died and three others were hospitalized in serious condition in nearby hospitals.

According to preliminary reports, the fire broke out at around 4:30 am (local time), perhaps because of a short circuit. The alarm was given almost an hour later, and rescuers had difficulty in reaching the fire, because of the maze of streets that characterizes the area. The flames were quelled after several hours.

In India similar fires are nothing new. The industrial and manufacturing areas are known for poor hygiene and safety conditions for workers. Last month eight workers died in the explosion of a fireworks factory in Tamil Nadu; in May 2014 a further 15 employees were killed in a fire in a firecrackers company in Madhya Pradesh; in New Delhi in November 2013 six workers died in a leather bags factory.

According to the latest ILO data (International Labour Organization) dating back to 2013, out of a total of 402 million workers, there were over 40 thousand fatal accidents in the workplace.