According to authorities, factory workers were enraged after a loudspeaker from a mosque announced a worker’s death during a police firing to disperse a road blockade by factory employees earlier that day.
Hundreds of workers gathered to vandalize the factory and set it on fire. They also blockaded the road, a Standard Garments’ manager told Reuters.
In an e-mailed statement to BuzzFeed, Gap spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson said: “We are grateful that there are no reported injuries or casualties. It is too early to speculate on the cause of the blaze until authorities have conducted a full investigation.”
The factory was among the 10 biggest in Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest apparel exporter with a $22 billion garment industry.
Wilkinson said, “We hope that factory management will help workers find employment in the interim.”
The government, factory owners, and global retailers have come under fire from human rights organizations to reform labor laws and improve working conditions of the country’s apparel industry, which employs 4 million people.