Italy factory fire kills at least seven

Опубликовано 2 декабря 2013, 8:18
Originally published on December 2, 2013

At least seven people were killed and several others injured when a Chinese-owned garment factory in the Italian town of Prato caught fire on Sunday (December 1).
The deceased were workers trapped in a loft dormitory built inside the factory.
Local reports said at least 11 workers had been sleeping in a warren of small cardboard and plasterboard compartments above a warehouse in the town's industrial district when the fire was reported at around 7am local time.

Reuters reported that, "Footage posted on the website of the local Il Tirreno newspaper showed fire crews battling the flames in a warehouse-like structure while smoke poured out of the building. Ambulances and police vehicles were also on the scene.

"The disaster prompted immediate questions about the conditions on the site and in a network of similar workshops operating in the area, which is noted for its large number of Chinese-owned textile manufacturing businesses, many operating on the fringes of legality.

"Prato, a town with one of the highest concentrations of Chinese immigrants in Italy, has at least 15,000 legally registered in a total population of under 200,000, with more than 4,000 Chinese-owned businesses, according to official data.

"Thousands more Chinese immigrants are believed to be living in the city illegally, working for a network of wholesalers and workshops turning out cheap clothing for the export market as well as well-known retail chains.

"A fire official quoted by the Corriere della Sera daily said there were clear violations of safety rules in the factory which burned down and evidence of unauthorised building work to put up the dormitories.

"The mayor of Prato, Roberto Cenni said there were "thousands of situations potentially as tragic as this one" in the industrial zone around the city and said he had been in contact with Interior Minister Angelino Alfano to combat the illegal "parallel district" which had grown up around the workshops."


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