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80 killed in Bangladesh building collapse

80 killed in Bangladesh building collapse
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At least 80 people were killed and 700 others A injured today when an eight-storey commercial building that housed A several garment factories and...

slide3At least 80 people were killed and 700 others A injured today when an eight-storey commercial building that housed A several garment factories and thousands of workers collapsed on the A outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital.

The Rana Plaza in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka, collapsed with A rescue work being carried out to pull out survivors from the rubble. The eight-storey commercial building housed three garments units, A a bank branch and around three hundred shops. Locals said around 6,000 workers used to work in the factories located A in the building.

The dead bodies and the injured were being retrieved from the pile A of debris with makeshift slides being made from cloth. Savar circle Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Moshiuddoula A Reza was quoted by BD News as saying that he had information about A recovery of 76 bodies.

Most of the bodies were taken to the Enam Medical College from the A site, which is located near the Savar Bus Stand. According to rescuers, at least four more bodies have been taken A to local hospitals and clinics. Director of the Industrial Police Mostafizur Rahman blamed the garment A factory owners for the collapse tragedy.

He told reporters that the owners were operating their units ignoring A the cracks spotted in the ill-fated building yesterday. Some workers also complained that the building had developed cracks A last evening, but were not able to evacuate as they were forced back A by their managers, media reports said. A senior army officer overseeing the rescue campaign said at least A 700 people were injured and were sent to different medical facilities A for treatment including the Enam Hospital.

Home minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir said army troops, fire service, A police and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) troops had A been mobilised on orders of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to activate A all efforts for rescue trapped people.

"The fact is we don't know yet how many people were killed actually...But A I can tell you the building was not built in compliance with the A (safety) rules and regulations," Alamgir told reporters at the collapse site. Health minister AFM Ruhal Huq said he was monitoring the rescue A campaign along with several other ministers and government leaders. Witnesses said water bottles and dry food were being dropped to A the basement of the building from over the debris where people remain trapped.

"It was a big bang and suddenly the building caved in," a local A resident told PTI. Earlier reports said a private TV channel two days ago carried a A report about the building's exposure to risks while local residents A said the cracks were developed further last night.

"Stern legal actions will be taken against the people who built A the structure defying the codes or laws," the Home Minister said. Meanwhile, disaster management minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali told A BSS that he had directed the ministry officials to sanction Taka A 2 crore for the rescue campaign and distribution of Taka 30,000 and A Taka 2,000 primarily for the dead and wounded people respectively.

Following the collapse, the BNP-led 18-party alliance relaxed their A strike in Savar. Acting President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition A leader begum Khaleda Zia mourned the deaths conveying their sympathy A to the members of the bereaved families. Building collapses are common in Bangladesh as builders openly flout A rules and the official construction code. Over 70 people were killed after a multi-storey garment factory A collapsed in the Savar area in 2005.

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