Ruins: Bangladeshi rescue workers look on at the scene following a blaze that engulfed a garment factory. Photo: AFP
Kmart is the first Australian retailer to offer compensation to the victims and their families of the Bangladeshi factory that burnt down last week, killing at least seven workers and injuring about 50.
The company is one of three Australian retailers, including Big W and Target, to admit that material for its clothes was manufactured in the factory owned by the Palmal Group of Companies.
Kmart was the latest company to confirm that a recent order for fabric was placed at the factory and offering financial compensation.
''Our team in Bangladesh is working with Palmal and the [Bangladeshi Fire and Safety] Accord team to ensure that all affected families are compensated and that the factory workers can find alternative jobs,'' spokeswoman Tracie Walker said.
Woolworths is again under pressure to sign an international agreement on fire and safety in Bangladesh, which Target and Kmart have already signed, following the Rana Plaza disaster in April that killed at least 1127 garment workers.
A seven-member panel is still examining the cause of last week's blaze, and the factory's safety regimen. The factory owner, Nafis Sikder, claimed the fire was not caused by any dereliction.
''The way the fire spread across the entire factory was mysterious. It spread in only 15 minutes,'' Mr Sikder said. His company would pay the families of those killed 500,000 taka ($6670) each in compensation, Mr Sikder said, and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association would pay a further 200,000 taka from an insurance fund.