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April 29, 2013

Cranes Begin Clearing Bangladesh Building Collapse

by VOA News

Workers in Bangladesh are now using heavy equipment to clear the site of a factory complex outside the capital, Dhaka, where hundreds of people died in a building collapse Wednesday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the building site Monday for the first time since the accident, as the death toll surpassed 380 people.

Witnesses saw rescue workers weeping after a fire broke out late Sunday, killing a trapped woman many believed was the last survivor in the wreckage.

Authorities expect the number of casualties to rise as hundreds of people remain missing. More than 3,000 people were in the building when it collapsed.


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On Sunday, police arrested the owner of the factory complex near the border with India. Mohammed Sohel Rana had been missing since the collapse. Police say Rana and factory managers ignored official warnings for people to evacuate the building after inspectors found cracks in it during an inspection Tuesday.

Rana's arrest came a day after authorities took two plant bosses and two engineers into custody. So far, authorities have detained seven people in connection with the accident.

In the days since the collapse, garment workers have been staging street protests in the streets of Dhaka to demand better working conditions and safety standards for the garment industry.

Some workers blame European and American companies for the poor working conditions because the companies demand low-cost goods from the garment manufacturers.

A fire at another garment factory in Bangladesh killed more than 100 workers in November.