Death toll in Bangladesh building collapse reaches to 900 mark

Savar: The death toll in Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster on Thursday approached the 900 mark as rescuers overnight pulled out 80 more bodies from sandwiched floors of the ill-fated eight-storey building that collapsed last month.

“The death toll now stands at 892,” an official said as the military-led salvage operation entered the 16th day on Thursday.

Hundreds of bodies are still trapped under the debris of the illegally constructed Rana Plaza building as many have remained missing, local media reported. The building in Savar near the capital Dhaka that housed five garment factories collapsed on April 24. It is still unclear how many people were there on that fateful day.

Police have charged building owner Sohel Rana and five factory owners with causing deaths due to negligence and violating construction laws, charges punishable by a maximum seven years in jail.

According to police, the building owner illegally added three floors and allowed the factories to install generators. Some of the survivors of the collapse alleged that the factory owners had forced them to work despite appearance of a huge crack on the building the day before it collapsed.

Bangladesh has closed down 18 garment factories temporarily as part of its efforts to allay fears of international buyers and rights groups over safety and labour standards in the country’s beleaguered apparel sector.

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