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CHITTAGONG – Representatives from H&M have said the fashion brand will pay for all clothing orders which were burnt or damaged by a huge explosion and fire at a shipping container in Bangladesh this weekend. At least 49 people died and hundreds were injured after a fire sparked a massive chemical explosion at a shipping container depot in Sitakunda, which stores around 4,000 containers, many filled with garments destined for Western retailers. The facility is about 40 kilometres from the major southern port of Chittagong.

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Around 90 per cent of Bangladesh’s ready-made garment trade passes through the Chittagong port at the top of the Bay of Bengal.

Rakibul Alam Chowdhury from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said that about 110 million dollars’ worth of garments were destroyed in the fire.

Local sources say around five million pieces of H&M garments were in the depot. When asked, H&M’s country manager Ziaur Rahman told local reporters that all ready-made garments supplied by the factories will be paid.

Apparel Insider understands that goods from around 25 factories supplying to H&M were impacted by the fire and explosion. H&M works with more than 200 suppliers in the country and is by some distance the biggest buyer from Bangladesh,

BGMEA director Abdullahil Rakib said they have not yet received information about the number of brands and products impacted by the disaster.

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