Pray for the people in Bangladesh !
According to Mail Online
Bangladeshi rescue workers are continuing their increasingly desperate search for survivors in a collapsed clothes factory building where workers made cheap clothes for Primark.
Hundreds were killed when the eight-story Rana Plaza in Savar on the outskirts of Dhakar collapsed yesterday, the day after cracks were seen in its walls. The death toll continues to rise and currently stands at more than 230. Forty people have been pulled alive from the rubble today.
Many of those working in the building at the time were young women, while some of those killed and injured are bound to be children as the building also housed a crèche.
Around 2,000 people have so far been pulled out alive. Doctors at local hospitals said they were unable to cope with the number of victims arriving from the disaster site.
This afternoon workers still trapped could be heard crying out for help as firefighters and soldiers using drilling machines and cranes struggled to reach them.
Officials say police had ordered the building evacuated on Tuesday, the day before its deadly collapse, after deep cracks became visible in its walls.
But the factories flouted the order and managers ordered their staff to keep working. Some survivors have said they were threatened with the sack if they refused to enter the building.
After the cracks were reported, managers of a local bank that also had an office in the building evacuated their workers.
The garment factories, though, kept working, ignoring the instructions of the local industrial police, said Mostafizur Rahman, a director of that paramilitary police force.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association had also asked the factories to suspend work starting on Wednesday morning, hours before the collapse.
‘After we got the crack reports, we asked them to suspend work until further examination, but they did not pay heed,’ said Atiqul Islam, the group’s president.
Today the smell of rotting bodies wafted through holes cut into the building. Junior minister for Home Affairs, Shamsul Haque, said a total of 2,000 people had so far been rescued from the wreckage.
Brigadier General Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder, who is overseeing army rescue teams, said the death toll had climbed to 194.
Dozens of bodies, their faces covered, were laid outside a local school building so relatives could identify them.
Thousands of workers’ family members gathered outside the building, waiting for news, as thousands of garment workers from nearby factories took to the streets across the industrial zone in protest.
General Shikder said rescue operations were progressing slowly. He said rescue teams were standing by with heavy equipment and would ‘start bulldozing the debris once we get closer to the end of the operation.
‘But now we are careful,’ he added
He also said the size of the crowd was interfering with getting more rescuers to the scene.
‘We are ready with about 1,000 soldiers and rescue workers from other departments. But a huge crowd is obstructing our effort,’ he said.
Searchers worked through the night to probe the jumbled mass of concrete with drills or their bare hands, passing water and flashlights to people pinned inside.
Sumi, a 25-year-old worker who goes by one name, said she was sewing jeans on the fifth floor with at least 400 others when the building fell.
‘It collapsed all of a sudden,’ she said. ‘No shaking, no indication. It just collapsed on us.’ She said she managed to reach a hole in the building where rescuers pulled her out.
Survivor Shaheena Akhter, 23, said: ‘Some of us did not want to work fearing something might happen, but the garment factory people told us that we had to join our work otherwise we will lose our jobs.’
Abdul Halim, an official with the engineering department in Savar, said the owner was originally allowed to construct a five-story building but he added another three stories illegally.
Local police chief Mohammed Asaduzzaman said police and the government’s Capital Development Authority have filed separate cases of negligence against the building owner.
Habibur Rahman, police superintendent of Dhaka district, identified the owner as Mohammed Sohel Rana, a local leader of ruling Awami League’s youth front. Mr Rahman said police were also looking for the owners of the garment factories.
Among the textile businesses in the building were Phantom Apparels, New Wave Style, New Wave Bottoms and New Wave Brothers.
Primark’s ethical trade team is working to collect information, assess which communities the workers come from and provide support ‘where possible’, the company said.
Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, which has an office in Dhaka, says his staff are investigating.
‘You can’t trust many buildings in Bangladesh,’ Mr Kernaghan said. ‘It’s so corrupt that you can buy off anybody and there won’t be any retribution.’
Do you think the owner of the garment factory is to blame for threatening the factory workers’ jobs if they did not work?