November 28, 2012 10:23:50 AM
DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Clothing and order books found at a Bangladeshi factory where a fire killed 112 people show that it was making clothing for Disney, Wal-Mart, Sears and other Western brands.
Associated Press reporters looked through clothing and documents connected to the retailers Wednesday while police announced the arrests of three factory officials who are suspected of locking in workers who were killed in Saturday's fire.
Piles of children's shorts from Wal-Mart's Faded Glory brand were found among the charred equipment at the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory. Blue and off-white shorts from rap star Sean Combs ENYCE label were piled on the floor and stacked in cartons.
Entries in account books in the abandoned factory showed it took orders in recent months to produce clothes for Disney and Sears, despite the factory's spotty safety record.
Calls made to The Walt Disney Company and to Sears Holdings were not immediately returned.
Wal-Mart has said the Tazreen factory was making clothes for the retail giant without its knowledge. Wal-Mart, which had received an audit deeming the factory "high risk" last year, said it had decided to stop doing business with Tazreen, but that a supplier subcontracted work to the factory anyway. Wal-Mart said it stopped working with that supplier on Monday.
Workers who survived the fire say exit doors were locked, fire extinguishers didn't work and managers had told them to go back to work after the fire alarm rang. A fire official has said that far fewer people would have died if there had been just one emergency exit.
Local police chief Habibur Rahman said three factory officials, but not the owner Tazreen Fashions -- were arrested and will be questioned about the fire.