The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Essay
The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire took place on March 25th 1911 and made a significant mark in the history of industrial accidents. The factory was located in Manhattan, in a building known as the Asch building, on the top three floors. The factory had a total of four elevators of which only one was used by the workers. In addition, there were two stair cases which were meant to be used for movement from the street to the factory. Of the two staircases, only one of them was in use. The other staircase had a closed door in order to avoid insecurity and theft by people within the factory or those outside it. The structure of the factory was crammed since the available space was not comfortable enough to accommodate the great number of employees.
A good number of the workers were immigrants who barely spoke English and felt privileged to work in the factory in spite of the conditions they worked under. When the fire occurred, there was a state of confusion in the factory. A total of 146 workers out of 500 succumbed to death during the incident. For most of them, the cause of death was either smoke inhalation, being trampled to death, falling into elevator shafts, falling from the factory to the street and some even jumped to their death on the street pavement below. Forty nine died of suffocation and burning, thirty six died in the elevator shaft, fifty eight by jumping and three died later after succumbing to injuries. This marked the fourth highest death toll in an industrial accident in U.S history. There was a need to find out the cause of the extensive damage in the factory as well as the numerous deaths that occurred in an occurrence that could have been handled in an easier way.
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