Bangladesh building collapse toll passes 800



Savar: The death toll in Bangladesh's worst industrial disaster passed the 800 mark as rescuers pulled out 51 more decomposed bodies on Wednesday from the debris of the ill-fated eight-storey building that collapsed in April.

According to officials at the makeshift army control room, the death toll hit 803 on the 15th day after the disaster while the number of people rescued alive remains unchanged at 2,437.

Hundreds of bodies are still trapped under the debris of the illegally constructed Rana Plaza building as many have remained missing, local media reported.

The building in Savar near the capital Dhaka that housed five garment factories collapsed on April 24. It is still unclear how many people were there on that fateful day.

Police have charged the building owner, Sohel Rana, and five factory owners with causing deaths due to negligence and violating construction laws, charges punishable by a maximum seven years in jail.

According to police, the building owner illegally added three floors and allowed the factories to install generators.

Some of the survivors of the collapse alleged that the factory owners had forced them to work despite appearance of a huge crack on the building the day before it collapsed.

Textiles Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui said 16 unsafe factories in capital Dhaka and port city Chittagong have been shut down in the wake of the tragedy.

Besides, Fire Service and Civil Defence have prepared a list of 243 factories vulnerable to fire mishap.

PTI