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H&M And JCPenney Factory Catches Fire In Bangladesh

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Four people have been injured after a clothing factory in the Gazipur district of Bangladesh caught fire early Tuesday morning.

According to Quartz, the Matrix Sweater Factory, which supplies apparel for H&M and JCPenney, burned for almost four hours before it could be contained by firefighters. The same factory caught on fire on Jan. 29, reports News Bangladesh.

The fire is said to have started around 7:30 a.m. Had it begun even one hour later, the factory "would have been filled with more than 6,000 workers, and the risk of death would have been extreme," Clean Clothes Campaign says in a statement.

The incident comes just days after the Clean Clothes Campaign, the International Labor Rights Forum, the Maquila Solidarity Network, and the Worker Rights Consortium released a report raising concerns about the "long delays in safety renovations" at the supplier factories in Bangladesh.

The reports states that though the factories were "inspected well over a year ago," the "hazards still waiting to be addressed are life-threatening in nature, which makes immediate remediation imperative." These hazards include lack of fire exists, no fire doors, no sprinklers, insufficient smoke alarms, and electrical safety risks.

"As of today, hardly any of H&M’s factories in Bangladesh can be called safe – and more than half have failed even to create proper fire exits," it reads. "For a company with H&M’s resources and clout – it is the largest buyer of clothes in Bangladesh – this performance is indefensible."

In an emailed statement to Quartz, H&M says it is following industry accords on improving safety standards and is in "close dialogue with the suppliers" to follow up on the "work that remains to be done."

You can watch footage from the fire in the video above.

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