Bangladesh building collapse: Death toll hits 1,034
Zee Media Bureau
Dhaka: The death toll in the collapse of an eight-storey building here in the Bangladesh capital soared past 1,000 on Friday.
Rescuers have pulled out alive a total of 2,437 people after the building crumbled.
At least 12 people have been arrested, including the owner of the building and owners of the factories.
Officials said 1,034 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of the fallen factory building as of Friday morning. There was no sign of where the toll might finally settle as more bodies were being found, but it is already the world’s deadliest garment industry disaster and one of the worst industrial accidents.
The official, who preferred to be unnamed, said rescuers have been continuing their efforts as the stench of decaying bodies still remained strong around the debris of the building that crumbled April 24.
After cracks were detected just a day before the disaster in the building that housed five garment factories, thousands of workers were evacuated.
However, factory officials forced the workers the next morning to continue working.
An initial government probe has blamed vibrations from giant generators combined with the vibrations of sewing machinery for the collapse of the building, allegedly constructed without proper permission and with substandard materials.
The five garment factories, according to months-old data of the owners` association, employed 3,122 workers, mostly women.
But authorities say there were more workers than the figures show.
The disaster has raised alarm about the often deadly working conditions in Bangladesh’s USD 20 billion garment industry, which provides clothing for major retailers around the globe.
The country’s powerful garment industry has been plagued by a series of disasters in recent months, including a November fire at the Tazreen factory that killed 112 and the building collapse.
(With Agency inputs)
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