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100 killed in Bangladesh building collapse

Last updated on: April 24, 2013 21:34 IST

100 killed in Bangladesh building collapse

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Anisur Rahman in Dhaka

Over 100 people were killed and 800 others injured on Thursday when an eight-storey commercial building that housed several garment factories and thousands of workers collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka.

Rescue work is going on at the Rana Plaza building in Savar.

The eight-storey commercial building housed three garment units, a bank branch and nearly three hundred shops.

Locals said over 6,000 workers used to work in the factories located in the building.

The dead bodies and the injured were being retrieved from the pile of debris, said authorities

Savar Circle Assistant Superintendent of Police Moshiuddoula Reza was quoted by BD News as saying that he had information about the recovery of 76 bodies.

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Image: People rescue garment workers trapped under rubble at the Rana Plaza building
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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100 killed in Bangladesh building collapse

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Most of the bodies were taken to the Enam Medical College from the site, which is located near the Savar bus stand.

According to rescuers, at least four more bodies have been taken to local hospitals and clinics.

Director of the Industrial Police Mostafizur Rahman blamed the garment factory owners for the tragedy.

He told reporters that the owners of the building had ignored the cracks spotted in the ill-fated building on Tuesday.

Some workers also complained that the building had developed cracks on Tuesday evening, but were not able to evacuate as they were forced back into the shops by their managers, media reports said.

A senior army officer, who is overseeing the rescue campaign, said at least 800 people had been injured. They were sent to different medical facilities for treatment.

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Image: People mourn for their relatives, who are trapped inside the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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100 killed in Bangladesh building collapse

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Home Minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir said army troops, fire brigade, policemen and the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion troops had been mobilised on the orders of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to activate all efforts to rescue trapped people.

"We don't know yet how many people were killed actually. But I can tell you the building was not built in compliance with the (safety) rules and regulations," Alamgir told reporters at the collapse site.

Health Minister AFM Ruhal Huq said he was monitoring the rescue campaign along with several other ministers and government leaders.

Witnesses said water bottles and dry food were being dropped to the basement of the building where people remain trapped.

"There was a big bang and suddenly the building caved in," said a local resident.

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Image: Crowds gather at the collapsed Rana Plaza building
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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100 killed in Bangladesh building collapse

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A private TV channel had two days ago carried a report about the building's exposure to risks.

"Stern legal action will be taken against the people who built the structure by defying the codes or laws," the home minister said.

Meanwhile, Disaster Management Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali told BSS that he had directed the ministry officials to sanction Taka 2 crore for the rescue campaign and distribution of Taka 30,000 and Taka 2,000 primarily for the dead and wounded people respectively.

Following the collapse, the BNP-led 18-party alliance relaxed their strike in Savar.

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Image: The body of a garment worker is seen amongst the rubble
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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100 killed in Bangladesh building collapse

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Acting President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia mourned the deaths.

They conveyed their sympathy to the bereaved families.

Building collapses are common in Bangladesh as builders openly flout rules and the official construction code.

Over 70 people were killed after a multi-storey garment factory collapsed in the Savar area in 2005.

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Image: People rescue a garment worker who was trapped under the rubble
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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