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Factory in fire had no safety certificate

Published By United Press International
DHAKA, Bangladesh, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A Bangladesh garment factory, the scene of a fire in November that killed at least 110 people, did not have a valid fire safety certificate, an official said.

Tazreen Fashions Limited's certificate expired in June and was not renewed, Bangladesh Director of Fire Service and Civil Defense Abu Mohammad Shahidullah said Friday.

"We gave (the factory owner) a reminder he should contact us for renewal. It was not done. If they had come earlier the factory would have been checked by our inspectors," Shahidullah told the British Broadcasting Company.

Operating a factory without proper certification is an offense but the rules are often ignored, safety experts told the BBC.

Officials said more than 1,100 workers were in the nine-story factory on the outskirts of Dhaka when the fire broke out Nov. 24. Walmart subsequently said one of its suppliers had subcontracted work to the Tazreen factory without Walmart's consent.

Another official of the Fire Services Department, Abdus Salam, said fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment at the factory were not used.

A government report on the incident is to be submitted in January, Salam said.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa