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Retailers Promise Compensation to Bangladesh Disaster Victims

A shopper passes demonstrators outside clothing retailer Primark in central London, April 27, 2013.
Two Western retailers have promised to pay compensation to victims of the Bangladesh factory building collapse who worked for their suppliers.

Britain's Primark and Canada's Loblaw said Monday they are working to ensure immediate and long-term assistance to the victims and their families. The building housed several garment factories.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the building site Monday for the first time since the accident, as the death toll surpassed 380 people.

The building in Savar, outside the capital, Dhaka, collapsed Wednesday.

Workers in Bangladesh are now using heavy equipment to clear the site.

On Sunday, authorities arrested building owner Mohammed Sohel Rana who had been missing since the collapse. He was taken into custody near the Indian border. Officials say Rana's father, as well as plant bosses and engineers have also been arrested.

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.

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.

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.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.