Bangladesh factory flaws highlighted - Jun 13th, 2013 - International

— A survey of scores of Bangladeshi factories by an engineering university shows that many of those factories are routinely built without consulting engineers.

After the April collapse of a garment factory building that killed more than 1,100 people, the government asked the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology to begin evaluating the buildings.

University engineers found that many garment factories are in commercial or residential buildings not designed to withstand the stress of heavy manufacturing. Some add illegal extra floors atop support columns too weak to hold them, which is what investigators say happened in the building collapse.

The engineers suggested that some buildings evaluated by immediately shut down.

The findings are worrisome for a $20 billion industry that has been struggling to regain the confidence of Western clothing companies and consumers.