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Bangladeshi Minister: Factory Collapse Not "Serious"

Bangladesh's finance minister says last week's collapse of a garment factory building is not "really serious," as the death toll from the incident topped 500.

Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said Friday the collapse was an "accident," and that he is "not worried" it will influence foreign garment retailers to leave the country. He said such incidents happen everywhere.

Bangladesh's $20 billion textile industry accounts for nearly 80 percent of the country's exports.

Meanwhile, police in Bangladesh arrested an engineer who warned of cracks in the eight-story factory complex near Dhaka.

Police say they arrested Abdur Razzak Khan because of his role in the building's construction. Nine people have now been arrested since the factory collapsed on April 24. Among the detainees were the owner of the building, the owners of several factories housed inside, and engineers responsible for the building's construction.

Police said Friday the death toll was up to 501, as new bodies were discovered in the ruins.



On Thursday, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told CNN her country's garment industry is beset with problems. But she said her government is moving to fix them, noting a committee has been formed to ensure the safety of buildings and workers.

Also Thursday, the nation's textile industry reopened, a week after the building collapse.

More than 3,000 people were in the building when it collapsed.
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