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Bangladesh Building Collapse Death Toll Passes 800

Authorities in Bangladesh have closed 18 garment factories in an attempt to prevent a repeat of last month's building collapse, in which the death toll passed 800 Wednesday.

The closures follow a series of protests since the April 24 collapse with garment workers striking against what they claim are unsafe working conditions in their industry.

Late afternoon Wednesday, police said they have recovered 803 bodies from the wreckage of the eight-story building and that they expect the number of casualties to rise.

More than 3,000 people were employed in the building, and some 2,500 survived.

But hope for more survivors has long faded, as authorities say they have found it increasingly difficult to identify the bodies from the April 24th collapse. They say they are relying in many cases on the identification cards and mobile phones found in the pockets of the deceased.

Authorities have arrested at least nine people in the aftermath of the accident.



Among the detainees are the owner of the building, the owners of several factories housed inside and engineers responsible for the building's construction.

Bangladesh's $20-billion textile industry accounts for nearly 80 percent of the country's exports. Several foreign textile companies have pledged to provide assistance to the families of those killed while making their goods.

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