Building collapse: 338 killed, figure may rise

At least 338 garments workers have been found dead and thousands others injured as an 8-storied building–Rana Plaza–collapsed in Savar bus stand area of Dhaka on Wednesday morning.The rescue team identified some 321 bodies and handed over to family and relatives till 01:15pm Saturday.
Death toll may rise as many others were still trapped in the collapsed building. Police and hospital sources told journalists.
Army, RAB, police, fire service personnel and locals were conducting rescue mission. There were few garments and shops in the building.

Seventy-two more people were rescued alive from the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza on Friday as the death toll continued to go up taking it to 318 till Friday midnight. Of the bodies, 289 were handed over to their families, Shahinur Islam, director of the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), said while briefing journalists at the spot around 4:30pm.

He also said a total of 2,385 people have so far been pulled out alive of the collapsed building.

Those rescued on Friday included two members of Industrial Police — ASI Mukul and constable Rafiqul Islam. They got trapped inside the building when they had been there on Wednesday morning to inspect it.

Two days after the disastrous collapse of the eight-storey building here, the hope for the rescue of the trapped people is fading fast due to the slow pace in rescue operation.

Locals and relatives of the victims said the rescue operation is getting hampered and delayed for lack of modern equipment.

When asked, Brig Shikdar of Ninth Infantry Division of Savar Cantonment described the lack of modern equipment of disaster management as the main reason for the slow rescue operation.

Meanwhile, the rescuers supplied food, water and oxygen to people trapped inside the building. Manny voluntary rescuers also joined the Army, police BGB members and firefighters to rescue the trapped people.

Police, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel cordoned off the area in the morning to conduct the rescue operation uninterruptedly.

Relatives of the victims vented anger as the law enforcers barred them from going near to the collapsed building.

The rescuers feared that the number of victims would go up sharply as many people are still remained trapped under the debris for over 60 hours.

The ill-constructed building had accommodated at least six garment factories and some 300 shops with nearly 4,000 workers. However, it’s not still clear as to how many workers were at their workplaces on the fateful day.

The building, ‘Rana Plaza’, which developed cracks on Tuesday morning, collapsed all of a sudden after a big bang around 9.00 am on Wednesday.

Many survivors alleged that the owners of their garment factories forced them to go back to work on Wednesday morning against their will.

Five cases were filed on behalf of Labour and Employment Ministry with the Labour Courtagainst the owners of the building and the garment factories housed in the complex.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday ordered the authorities concerned to immediately arrest Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana and the owners of the five garment factories housed by the collapsed building.UNB

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