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Bangladesh factory owners jailed

DHAKA, Bangladesh — The owners of a garment factory in Bangladesh surrendered to authorities on Sunday to face homicide charges for a 2012 fire at the plant that killed 112 workers.

Police filed homicide charges in December against 13 people in connection with the fire at the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory, including the owners, Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter. Arrest warrants were issued for six of the accused who police said had fled, including the owners.

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The November 2012 fire was one of several deadly disasters that have exposed harsh and unsafe working conditions in Bangladesh’s lucrative garment industry. A factory collapse last April killed more than 1,100 workers.

After Hossain and Akter turned themselves in, a court in the capital, Dhaka, rejected their bail petition and ordered them to be jailed, pending further legal procedures.

If found guilty, the accused face a minimum of seven years and up to life in prison, prosecutor Anwarul Babul said. Four of the accused are still at large.

The factory, located outside Dhaka, produced clothing for major retailers including Walmart. It had no emergency exits and its location in a narrow alley prevented firefighters from responding quickly to the blaze, Babul said.

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