Six people are dead and many more injured in a tragic accident on Thursday. The unfinished roof of a cement factory in the southwestern part of the Bangladesh collapsed in the middle of the work day, burying tens of people in rubble and killing at least six in the process.
According to CNN, the factory is owned by a welfare organization for Bangladeshi troops called Sena Kalvan Sangstha and is located in the port city of Mongla. At approximately 2 p.m. on Thursday, fire officials say the roof of the building collapsed, leaving as many as 70 people still trapped inside. Early reports said that four had perished in the roof collapse, but new information updated the death toll to six. Since many are still believed to be trapped in the rubble, there could be many more found dead.
According to the New York Daily News, as many as 150 workers were on duty inside the factory when the roof gave way.
The cause of the roof collapse is still unknown, but reports claim the roof was only partially built when it fell. Mahboob ul-Allam, the senior assistant secretary in the Bangladesh disaster management department, reported that the factory was still under construction, despite the fact that factory workers were allowed inside to do their jobs. The factory was being run by the army at the time of the collapse.
According to the New York Times, roughly 40 people were rescued from the roof collapse within the first few hours. Boishakhi TV showed footage of the roof disaster, depicting groups of injured factory workers being treated by medical workers. A nearby medical facility was coated in dust and rubble from the roof collapse.
This is not the first time that Bangladesh has made international news for unsafe factory conditions. Only two years ago, in April of 2013, a building full of factories in the garment industry collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people in the process. Investigations concluded that shoddy building materials and disregard of building codes resulted in the collapse, which could also be the case in this new cement factory roof collapse.
While it might be reasonable to blame building officials for the disaster, unstable infrastructure and decades of economic hardship could be ultimately responsible, as Bangladesh is one of the poorest nations on the planet.
The most recent building collapse to make the news happened in Chicago at the end of last year. Two women and a dog were rescued from the debris.