Bangladesh building collapse toll nears 1000
Savar: The death toll in Bangladesh's worst industrial disaster on Thursday rose to 953 as rescuers overnight pulled out over 100 more decomposed bodies from sandwiched floors of the ill-fated eight-storey building that collapsed last month.
"Ninety seven more bodies were retrieved since last night ... The figure now stands at 953," an official of the makeshift army control room told a news agency as the military-led salvage operation entered the 16th day today.
He said 2,443 people were rescued alive so far but 13 of them succumbed to their wounds as they were being treated at different hospitals.
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.
Yesterday, Bangladesh closed down 18 garment factories temporarily as part of its efforts to allay fears of international buyers and rights groups over safety and labour standards in the country's beleaguered apparel sector.