The 7 female workers were believed to be manufacturing clothes for the Spanish parent company of the American retailer Zara, according to ABC News.
"After more than two decades of the apparel industry knowing about the risks to these workers, nothing substantial has changed," said Judy Gearhart a fire safety advocate. "Brands still keep their audit results secret; they still walk away when it suits them; and trade unions are still marginalized, weakening workers' ability to speak up when they are at risk," she added.
A local fire official told The New York Times that the factory was located on the second floor of a building, above a bakery, and it lacked proper exits and fire prevention equipment. "We did not find fire extinguishers," the official said. "We did not find any safety measures," he added.
According to The Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights, the seven women who died — two of whom were only 15 and 16-years-old respectively — were "crushed to death as they raced to escape the fire."