Photos: Lone door led out as fire burned Gujarat denim factory

Shouting and crying, workers in the Nandan Denim factory struggled to claw their way up a ladder to a door, their only exit as a fire blazed through fabric and machinery, officials say. Seven people died in the weekend blaze, and families were still waiting on Wednesday to recover loved ones' bodies. The factory where the fire occurred, Nandan Denim, has ties to major US retailers, according to its website.

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST 9 Photos
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Damage after a fire broke out at Nandan Denim, in Ahmedabad. “Smoke kept billowing from the building as workers trapped inside screamed for help,” one eyewitness who spoke on condition of anonymity to AP, because he was worried he’d lose his job. The fire broke out Saturday in its two-story factory on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. (AP Photo)

Damage after a fire broke out at Nandan Denim, in Ahmedabad. “Smoke kept billowing from the building as workers trapped inside screamed for help,” one eyewitness who spoke on condition of anonymity to AP, because he was worried he’d lose his job. The fire broke out Saturday in its two-story factory on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. (AP Photo)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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Nandan says it supplies jeans, denim and garments to more than 20 global brands including companies like Target, Ann Taylor, Mango and Wrangler, and its sister company supplies Walmart and H&M. Some of the US and multinational companies listed on their website said they weren’t actually customers, many issuing statements strongly condemning dangerous work sites. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

Nandan says it supplies jeans, denim and garments to more than 20 global brands including companies like Target, Ann Taylor, Mango and Wrangler, and its sister company supplies Walmart and H&M. Some of the US and multinational companies listed on their website said they weren’t actually customers, many issuing statements strongly condemning dangerous work sites. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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Rajesh Bhatt, a senior fire official at the scene, told AP that the factory had just one door that could only be reached by climbing a steep ladder. The workers, Bhatt said, were resting after long shifts when the fire started. “There were hardly any means of escape from the blaze,” said Bhatt. Police said the factory had violated multiple regulations and the owner, a manager and a fire safety officer have been arrested. (AP Photo)

Rajesh Bhatt, a senior fire official at the scene, told AP that the factory had just one door that could only be reached by climbing a steep ladder. The workers, Bhatt said, were resting after long shifts when the fire started. “There were hardly any means of escape from the blaze,” said Bhatt. Police said the factory had violated multiple regulations and the owner, a manager and a fire safety officer have been arrested. (AP Photo)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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Safety and health authorities have asked the company to close until further notice. Its licenses have been suspended, and Nandan Denim has agreed to pay families of those killed a reported compensation of Rs10 lakh. Purvee, a factory spokeswoman who goes by only her first name, did not explain how it started but called the fire “unfortunate.” Factory officials didn’t comment on whether they had undergone required audits and reviews. (AP Photo)

Safety and health authorities have asked the company to close until further notice. Its licenses have been suspended, and Nandan Denim has agreed to pay families of those killed a reported compensation of Rs10 lakh. Purvee, a factory spokeswoman who goes by only her first name, did not explain how it started but called the fire “unfortunate.” Factory officials didn’t comment on whether they had undergone required audits and reviews. (AP Photo)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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Labourers sit near burnt remains in the factory.Surviving workers, who are paid about Rs25 per hour, said conditions had been dangerous. “We work almost 14 hours a day. But do we have an option?” said Vimalbhai, a textile worker, who goes by only one name. “Every once a while there is a fire in some factory or the other. Nobody cares and we keep on working.” (AP Photo)

Labourers sit near burnt remains in the factory.Surviving workers, who are paid about Rs25 per hour, said conditions had been dangerous. “We work almost 14 hours a day. But do we have an option?” said Vimalbhai, a textile worker, who goes by only one name. “Every once a while there is a fire in some factory or the other. Nobody cares and we keep on working.” (AP Photo)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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Zeel Makwana holds up a photograph of her father Bhalabhai Makwana, one of the victims of Saturday's fire. One victim, Dayabhai Makwana, 43, made it out alive, but went back in to rescue co-workers and perished. “I wish he hadn’t gone back to save his colleagues,” said his grieving brother Dhanabai Makwana. He said more than 30 workers were in the factory at the time of the blaze. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

Zeel Makwana holds up a photograph of her father Bhalabhai Makwana, one of the victims of Saturday's fire. One victim, Dayabhai Makwana, 43, made it out alive, but went back in to rescue co-workers and perished. “I wish he hadn’t gone back to save his colleagues,” said his grieving brother Dhanabai Makwana. He said more than 30 workers were in the factory at the time of the blaze. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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Sobbing families were still waiting Wednesday outside one of the city’s hospital mortuaries to identify bodies charred beyond recognition. They were told DNA confirmation would not come before Friday. “We can’t even mourn our dead because we don’t know which one is ours,” Mahesh Patel, whose nephew lost his life in the blaze told AP. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

Sobbing families were still waiting Wednesday outside one of the city’s hospital mortuaries to identify bodies charred beyond recognition. They were told DNA confirmation would not come before Friday. “We can’t even mourn our dead because we don’t know which one is ours,” Mahesh Patel, whose nephew lost his life in the blaze told AP. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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Family members mourn Bhalabhai Makwana. Some of the brands AP contacted, including Ann Taylor, Target, Zara and Pull&Bear, said they don’t have a relationship with Nandan Denim. Target said it is working to get its name off their website and out of their annual reports. Because thread, fabric cutting, weaving and sewing can be done in different locations, it becomes near impossible to track an item to a specific factory. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

Family members mourn Bhalabhai Makwana. Some of the brands AP contacted, including Ann Taylor, Target, Zara and Pull&Bear, said they don’t have a relationship with Nandan Denim. Target said it is working to get its name off their website and out of their annual reports. Because thread, fabric cutting, weaving and sewing can be done in different locations, it becomes near impossible to track an item to a specific factory. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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Bhalabhai Makwana’s relatives at his home. Joe Fresh officials said they believe one of their approved suppliers had purchased denim from Nandan. Zara’s parent company Inditex said Nandan has produced jeans for one of its brands. The sister company, Nandan Terry supplies to stores including Walmart and H&M, according to ImportGenius shipping records. Those corporations said they would look into the situation. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

Bhalabhai Makwana’s relatives at his home. Joe Fresh officials said they believe one of their approved suppliers had purchased denim from Nandan. Zara’s parent company Inditex said Nandan has produced jeans for one of its brands. The sister company, Nandan Terry supplies to stores including Walmart and H&M, according to ImportGenius shipping records. Those corporations said they would look into the situation. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 05:25 PM IST
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