123 dead in Bangladesh building collapse

2013-04-24 20:19
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dhaka - Rescuers in Bangladesh have recovered at least 123 bodies from the rubble of a collapsed eight-storey building that housed mostly garment factories on Wednesday, officials said.

Many more were still trapped in the remains of the building, located outside Dhaka, which also contained shops and offices, police said.

"We have received 123 bodies from the rescuers so far. Of them, 71 were handed over to their relatives," police superintendent Faruk Hossain said, some 12 hours after the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Savar, some 25km northwest of the Bangladeshi capital, at 08:30.

The bodies, wrapped in white cloths, were lined up in rows on the playground of a nearby school.

More than 700 other were injured, Ruhul Forkan, an assistant director of the health ministry, told journalists at the accident site.

Many of them were rushed to hospitals in Savar and Dhaka, he added. Local people rescued more than 100 garment workers.

"I heard a bang like a bomb blast," garment worker Rashida Begum said from hospital.

"I tried to hide under the sewing machine and I don't know how I got out of the building," she said, adding many of her colleagues were trapped.

Most of the fatalities were women working in the building's four garment factories, said Bharat Chandra Biswas, an official of the fire service and civil defence department.

People trapped under rubble

Rescue crews were trying to reach those trapped through a gap under the collapsed structure, said Ali Ahmed, the department's chief.

"It is not clear exactly how many people were working there when the building collapsed," he said.

Television footage show hundreds of relatives near the site, some weeping with photographs of their loved ones as rescuers searched for survivors.

Rescuers from the army, fire service, civil defence and police departments are trying to remove parts of the shattered structure using cranes. Hospitals have urged the public to donate blood.

The government has announced a day of mourning on Thursday.

It allocated half a million dollar to compensate the victims.

Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir said the building was not properly constructed and ordered an investigation into the accident.

The minister said the persons responsible for the tragedy must be brought to justice following the probe.

The building had an underground car par, a bank on the ground floor, shops on the first floor and clothing factories above.

Garment workers said more than 5 000 people labour to produce clothes at the factories in the building.

"We did not want to work today as cracks surfaced in the building. But factory officials forced us to work," said Aklima Begum, a 29-year-old employee at Phantom Apparels Limited, who was taken to hospital.

Factory owners blamed

An officer from the Industrial Police unit blamed the factory owners for the loss of life.

"We asked the factory owners to keep their units shut, but they did not listen to us," said Mustafizur Rahman, a director of the Industrial Police.

He said the police department had told them to have the building tested by engineers.

Anisur Rahman, who owns a garment factory in the building, said that the building's owner assured him the structure was safe and was tested by an engineer.

"Based on the assurance we resumed work at the factory where 70% of 300 workers attended Wednesday," he told journalists in Dhaka.

Safety in the garment industry, which accounts for nearly 79% of Bangladesh's total export earnings, is questioned frequently when accidents take place.

In November, at least 112 workers were killed when Tazreen Fashions factory caught fire near Dhaka.

Sixty-four people were killed when the Spectrum Sweater factory collapsed in Dhaka's Savar suburb in 2005.

In another incident in 2006 in Dhaka, at least 22 people were killed when the Phoenix Textile building collapsed.

- SAPA
Read more on:    bangladesh  |  bangladesh building collapse
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.