At least nine people were killed by a fire at a factory making clothes for at least one Western store chain, officials in Bangladesh said Wednesday - six months after the Rana Plaza collapse that killed 1,100 people in the capital, Dhaka.
The latest blaze, in the town of Gazipur, was finally put out early Wednesday after burning for 10 hours, fire official Zafar Ahmed told the Associated Press.
Although most of the 170 workers inside had managed to escape, the fatalities included general manager Rashiduzzaman Mandal, according to Ahmed.
The deputy manager and other workers at the Aswad Composite Mills building said the site was used by at least six brands which are popular in the U.S., U.K., and Europe, according to a report from the scene by Laura Kuenssberg for NBC News' U.K. partner, ITV News.
One of these companies, H&M, confirmed to NBC News material made at the site was used in its clothes, but it said it did not deal directly with the factory.
“We don’t have a direct business relationship with the affected factory,” an H&M spokesperson said in a statement.
H&M said it would work with authorities and other firms to continue to improve conditions in Bangladesh's $20 billion garment industry, the third biggest in the world.
The Rana Plaza garment factory collapse, on April 24, is thought to be the worst disaster of its kind, and prompted promises of reform and compensation by authorities and Western companies.
Families affected by the disaster told ITV News on Tuesday they had still not received any compensation as promised by several Western clothing brands.
The director general of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder, said the incidents reflected “the sad and shocking truth that not enough is being done to address the safety and health of garment factory workers [in Bangladesh].
He said: “Despite the staggering loss of life over the past years, workers are still dying for reasons that could well be avoided if decent working conditions were in place.”
According to Ryder, any efforts by international companies and the Bangladeshi government to improve safety and conditions “will be in vain until they translate into concrete actions to avoid further loss of life or injury to workers.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.