Diego Ibarra Sanchez

Photographer; Educator; Video journalist
   
Factory Aftermath
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: www.diegoibarra.com Diego Ibarra Sánchez is a documentary photographer, filmmaker , and educator, based in Lebanon, who specializes in in-depth long-form visual stories.   He has been contributing to THE NEW YORK TIMES since 2012,... MORE
Public Story
Factory Aftermath
Copyright Diego Ibarra 2022
Updated Apr 2020
Topics Photography
Fire ravaged a textile factory complex at Karachi’s Gulbai area killing almost 300 workers trapped behind locked doors on September 12, 2012. It was one of the worst fires in Pakistan's recent history. All the exit doors in the factory were locked and many of the windows were covered by iron bars, which made it difficult for workers to escape at the time of the fire. There were no emergency exits. Workers had to smash iron bars on the windows to escape the flames

29 bodies of the factory workers who died in the fire have not been identified yet at the Edhi Morgue in the area of Soharab Goth, Karachi. According to official reports the bodies cannot be recognized, and they must wait for DNA results.  

Textiles are a major source of foreign currency for Pakistan but the industry suffers from weak regulation, characterized by lax oversight and corruption. According to labor activists, work regulations have deteriorated even further in the past few years.

Pakistan's Constitution considers the right to security for workers as a universal guarantee. But the reality of daily life of Pakistani workers is very different. Accidents are too frequent. There is hardly any oversight by government officials of the security measures in the country's industries and factories.

Certified Safe, a Factory in Karachi Still Quickly Burned
Retail giants have helped create and champion numerous factory inspection systems, but industry-backed auditing was no protection for at least 262 Pakistanis who died in a September blaze.
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