80 killed in Bangladesh building collapse

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

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

Locals said around 6,000 workers used to work in the factories located in the building. The dead bodies and the injured were being retrieved from the pile of debris with makeshift slides being made from cloth. Savar circle assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Moshiuddoula Reza was quoted by BD News as saying that he had information about recovery of 76 bodies.

Most of the bodies were taken to the Enam medical college from the site, which is located near the Savar bus stand. According to rescuers, at least four more bodies have been taken to local hospitals and clinics.

Director of the industrial police Mostafizur Rahman blamed the garment factory owners for the collapse tragedy. He told reporters that the owners were operating their units ignoring the cracks spotted in the ill-fated building yesterday.

Some workers also complained that the building had developed cracks last evening, but were not able to evacuate as they were forced back by their managers, media reports said.

A senior Army officer overseeing the rescue campaign said at least 700 people were injured and were sent to different medical facilities for treatment including the Enam hospital.

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

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