News / Asia

    Bangladesh Death Toll Passes 800

    Last standing part of Rana Plaza collapses during army rescue operation in Savar, Bangladesh, May 2, 2013.
    Last standing part of Rana Plaza collapses during army rescue operation in Savar, Bangladesh, May 2, 2013.
    VOA News
    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.

    Deadly Accidents in Bangladesh

    April 2013: Building housing garment factories in Savar collapses, kills 1,127
    November 2012: Garment factory fire outside Dhaka kills more than 100
    March 2012: Ferry sinks after colliding with oil barge, killing more than 100
    April 2005: Garment factory collapse in Savar kills more than 70
    May 2002: River ferry sinks, killing up to 500
    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.

    • A man walks at the site where a garment factory building collapsed on April 24 in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 13, 2013.
    • Reshma Begum, center, the 19-year-old seamstress who spent 17 days trapped in the rubble of a collapsed factory building talks to the media at a hospital in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 13, 2013.
    • Rescuers carry a survivor pulled out from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Saver, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 10, 2013.
    • People work in the rubble of a collapsed garment factory in Savar near Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 10, 2013.
    • Rescuers carry the body of a victim from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh, May 7, 2013.
    • A woman cries after she identified her relative's body that was recovered from the rubble of a collapsed garment factory building, Savar, Bangladesh, May 3, 2013.
    • The remaining standing part of the collapsed Rana Plaza building collapses during a rescue operation by the army in Savar, Bangladesh, May 2, 2013.
    • Relatives mourn as they look for garment workers, missing after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, May 2, 2013.
    • Workers dig mass graves during a burial of unidentified garment workers, who died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, May 1, 2013.
    • A boy covers his nose with a cloth as people gather in front of mass graves during the burial of unidentified garment workers, who died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh, May 1, 2013.
    • A woman waits for news of her relative, a garment worker, who is missing after the collapse of Rana Plaza building, in front of missing people posters in Savar, Bangladesh, April 30, 2013.
    • Firefighters and army personnel are blanketed in thick dust after part of the garment factory building collapses after being dislodged as part of the clearing process in Savar, near Dhaka, April 29, 2013.
    • Crowds gather at the collapsed Rana Plaza building as people rescue garment workers trapped in the rubble, Savar, Bangladesh, April 24, 2013.

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