News / Asia

Cranes Begin Clearing Bangladesh Building Collapse

Army soldiers clear up the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building with a crane in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka, Apr. 28, 2013.
Army soldiers clear up the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building with a crane in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka, Apr. 28, 2013.
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.


  • 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.

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.

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