The famous tragedy at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory took place on this day in 1911. 146 sweatshop workers mostly young immigrant girls, died as the factory located near Washington Square, New York went up in flames. Doors had been locked to prevent workers stealing material. As ladders in the NYC fire department could not reach the premises in the 8th, 9th and 10th floors of the building, many jumped to their death in a manner echoed by many victims in the 2001 Trade Centre tragedy. The factory owners were prosecuted but not convicted. The disaster was one of the worst seen in NYC, and prompted the introduction of fire safety requirements as well as calls for unionisation and improved conditions for female workers in the garment industry.