Factory Fire in Italy

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Firefighters work at a deadly blaze at a Chinese-owned garmet factory in Prato, Tuscany. Photo Courtesy of www.scmp.com

Firefighters work at a deadly blaze at a Chinese-owned clothing factory in Prato, Tuscany. Photo Courtesy of www.scmp.com

There was a deadly clothing factory fire in Prato, Italy on Sunday. There are no reports on what caused the fire yet, but seven people were killed and three were injured.

Prato is a city in Italy known for its clothing factories. The factory that caught on fire was owned by a Chinese company. In a report by MSN, the factory work conditions were very close to slavery. The workers killed died from the fire due to being trapped in a dormitory provided by the company. They also pointed out that this fire highlighted how unsafe many working conditions are in these factories.

There are believed to be many illegal Chinese immigrants living in Prato working in these unsafe conditions. Msn.com reported that, “”No one can say they are surprised at this because everyone has known for years that in the area between Florence and Prato, hundreds, if not thousands of people are living and working in conditions of near-slavery,” Roberto Pistonina, secretary general of the Florence and Prato section of the CISL Trade Union, said on his Facebook page.”

This disaster is similar to one that happed in 1911 at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York. Workers at that factory worked in very close quarters. The owners of the company decided to start locking the doors during work hours. One tragic day a fire started and the workers were trapped inside.

Since 1911, many laws have been put into place to prevent tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory from happening again. The U.S. Department of Labor says on their website about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that, “New York City and New York State, over the next few years, adopted the country’s strongest worker safety protection laws. Initially addressing fire safety, these laws eventually became model legislation for the rest of the country and state after stated enacted much more strict worker safety laws.” It’s really too bad that events like this still happen in places that don’t follow the standards or are just sliding by.

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