News / Asia

Owner of Collapsed Bangladesh Factory Arrested

Bangladeshi rescue workers carry the body of a dead garment worker after it was retrieved from a building that collapsed on Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 28, 2013.
Bangladeshi rescue workers carry the body of a dead garment worker after it was retrieved from a building that collapsed on Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 28, 2013.
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VOA News
Police in Bangladesh say they have taken into custody the owner of a factory complex that collapsed last Wednesday, killing at least 377 people.
 
Authorities announced Sunday that they detained Mohammed Sohel Rana near the border with India.  Rana had been missing since the building's collapse on Wednesday.
 
At the disaster site, meanwhile, a fire broke out in the wreckage and forced authorities to suspend the search for survivors temporarily.
 
The fire that broke out Sunday night as rescue workers were trying to cut through a steel beam to reach a trapped woman.  At least three rescuers were injured and fire officials said the trapped woman was likely killed in the blaze.
 
Rana's arrest came a day after authorities took at least two plant bosses and two engineers into custody.  So far, authorities have arrested seven people total in connection with the collapse.
 
Police say Rana and factory managers ignored official warnings for people to evacuate the building after inspectors found cracks in it. 
 
On Sunday, emergency workers continued to pull survivors from the wreckage.  They have been working with hand tools since the incident, but officials say they will soon have to start using cranes to sift through the ruins.  Authorities had put off using heavy equipment in hopes of protecting any survivors left in the structure.
 
The complex that collapsed just outside of Dhaka housed five garment factories. 
 
About 30 people were rescued Saturday.  More than 2,400 people have been rescued since the building collapsed, with at least half of them injured.   
 
More than 3,000 people were in the building outside Dhaka when it collapsed.  Authorities still do not know how many people are missing.
 
Protesting garment workers took the streets of the capital Dhaka again on Sunday to demonstrate against the country's poor industrial safety standards.
 
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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