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Garment Factory Collapses in Bangladesh

dateline: 30 April 2013

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • garment: clothing
  • collapse: the falling down of a structure
  • visual: able to be seen
  • assure: to tell someone that you are sure about something
  • tenant: person who rents a space
  • wreckage: the ruined or badly damaged parts at the scene following an accident or disaster

Garment Factory Collapses in Bangladesh

Almost 400 garment workers have been confirmed dead following last week’s collapse of a nine-story factory in Bangladesh. Large visual cracks had appeared in the building the collapse, but the owner of the building assured tenants that the building was safe. Family members of the missing slept waiting for workers and volunteers to pull bodies out of the wreckage. While loved ones wept, thousands of people in the garment manufacturing district gathered to protest the safety standards and working conditions. Bangladesh’s garment industry brings in 20 billion dollars a year, and accounts for about 80% of the country’s exports. The owner of the building flee the country, but has been arrested. Rescue efforts were called off when a fire broke out on Sunday as rescuers tried to free a woman.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What type of building collapsed?
  2. What took place in Bangladesh’s garment district following the disaster?
  3. Who was arrested?

Discussion Question:
Many people are calling for a national strike in Bangladesh this week. Do you think this disaster will inspire a change in the garment industry? What can global brands do to ensure better safety standards and working conditions in the garment industry?

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Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.


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