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An eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed near Bangladesh's capital on Wednesday, killing at least 87 people and trapping many more under a jumbled mess of concrete. Rescuers tried to cut through the debris with earthmovers, drilling machines and their bare hands.
Less than five months after a factory fire killed 112 people, the disaster again underscored the unsafe conditions in Bangladesh's massive garment industry. Workers said they hesitated to go to work Wednesday because the building had developed such severe cracks the previous day that it had been reported on local news channels.
The collapse stirred memories of a fatal fire at a garment factory in November that killed 112 people and raised an outcry about safety in the nation’s $20 billion-a-year textile industry, which produces clothing for global fashion brands worn around the world.
Workers in the Rana Plaza building said it had developed such severe cracks the day before that it had been reported on local news channels. They hesitated to enter the building Wednesday morning, said Abdur Rahim, who worked in a garment factory on the fifth floor.
But a manager from the factory assured them there was no problem, so they went inside, he said.
“We started working. After about an hour or so the building collapsed suddenly,” he said. He next remembered regaining consciousness outside the building.
Among the businesses in the building were Phantom Apparels Ltd., New Wave Style Ltd., New Wave Bottoms Ltd. and New Wave Brothers Ltd. garment factories, companies that make clothing for brands including Benetton, The Children’s Place and Dress Barn. Workers said they didn’t know what specific clothing brands were being made in the building because labels are attached after the products are finished.
Survivors from a building that collapsed in Bangladesh killing at least 187 mainly women workers described hearing a deafening crack before the complex housing factories supplying Western clothes retailers crashed down in a matter of seconds.
Local residents helped pull survivors from the twisted wreckage of the eight-storey Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 km (20 miles) outside the capital Dhaka, which collapsed on Wednesday. More than 1,000 people were injured.
"An unspecified number of victims are still trapped," said Mizanur Rahman, a rescue worker with the fire brigade, as he clambered over the wreckage. "We can't be certain of getting them all out alive. We are losing a bit of hope."
Dhaka's district police chief Habibur Rahman said the death toll could rise further.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Mohammad Atiqul Islam said there were 3,122 workers in the factories on Wednesday. He said there had been indications from local officials that cracks had been found in the building the day before.
"We asked the garment owners to keep it closed," Islam said.
Rana Plaza's owner had told proprietors of the building's five garment factories that the cracks were not dangerous, Islam added. "After getting the green signal from the plaza owner all the garment factories opened," he said.
Originally posted by generik
i guess that they will hit up the consumers of their products to pay off those injured and killed again?
if i was a merchandise buyer i think i would just stop buying anything from that country for fear of them trying to hold their consumers libel for their incompitance.
The death toll rose to 413 in the collapse of a building in Bangladesh, as rescuers found more bodies in the rubble on Wednesday, the authorities said.
More than 600 people were still unaccounted for eight days after the accident, and many bodies were feared trapped in the rubble.
Bangladesh is under pressure to meet international labour standards for its garment industry, which accounts for 79% of the country's export earnings.