Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire

(March 25, 1911) Industrial disaster that led to the enactment of many safety and labour laws.

The fire, which started in the garment factory on the eighth floor of the Asch Building in New York City, resulted in the deaths of 146 people, mostly young immigrant women. Fire truck ladders, then able to reach only six stories, were of little help. The sweatshop had few fire escapes, and its doors were locked to prevent theft, forcing panicked workers to leap from upper-floor windows. Public outcry also led to new fire codes and child-labour laws and greater influence for the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union.

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Universalium. 2010.

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