​Bangladesh Factory Owners Arrested As Death Toll Rises

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April 27, 2013
Also: Bangladesh, Bangladesh Factory Owners, Death Toll, Factory, Owners, Rana Plaza

Bangladesh authorities issue an arrest warrant for factory owners as textile workers vented their anger, burning cars and clashing with police. Officials say at least one factory that collapsed was built without a permit.

The death toll passed 300 following the collapse of the building that made low-cost garments for Western brands.

Miraculously rescuers were still pulling people alive from the rubble – 72 since daybreak following 41 found in the same room overnight – two days after the eight-storey building collapsed on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.

But there were fears that hundreds of people were still trapped in the wreckage of the building, which officials said had been built illegally without the correct building permits.

“Some people are still alive under the rubble and we are hoping to rescue them,” said deputy fire services director Mizanur Rahman.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she had ordered the arrest of the owners of the building and of the five factories that occupied it.

Army spokesman Shahinur Islam said the death toll had reached 304 and H. T. Imam, an adviser to the prime minister, said it could exceed 350.
Anger over the working conditions of Bangladesh’s 3.6 million garment workers, the overwhelming majority of them women, has grown steadily since the disaster, with thousands taking to the streets to protest on Friday.

About 2,350 people have been rescued, at least half of them injured, from the remains of the building in the commercial suburb of Savar, about 30 km (20 miles) from Dhaka.

An industry official has said 3,122 people, most of them female garment workers, had been in the Rana Plaza building despite warnings that it was structurally unsafe.

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