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German firm pays $500,000 to Pakistan fire victims

BERLIN -- A German discount clothing chain says it will pay $500,000 to the relatives of some 260 workers who died in a blaze at a factory in Pakistan last month.

The payment amounts to less than $2,000 for each victim at the Karachi factory where workers produced garments for German company KiK and others.

KiK said in a statement Wednesday that it would give an additional $500,000 toward improving fire safety measures in Pakistan's textile industry.

Pakistani police have opened a murder case and are investigating whether possible negligence by the owners and managers of the garment factory led to the massive loss of life.

The fire was the deadliest industrial accident in Pakistan's 65-year history, and highlighted the woeful safety conditions that exist at many factories around the country.