Two factory bosses were arrested on Saturday in connection with the Bangladesh building collapse that killed at least 325 people. The owner of the eight-story commercial building that crumbled to pieces on Wednesday is still on the run.
The arrests came 72 hours after the building where several low-cost garments were made for Western brands collapsed on top of hundreds of workers.
The building, which was poorly constructed, fell down like a house of cards around more than 3,000 workers. Police stated that two of the building owner’s relatives were detained in an attempt to get him to hand himself in. An alert has also gone out to airport and border authorities to keep him from fleeing the country.
Rana Plaza, built on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, was constructed illegally and without the correct permits. Workers were allowed inside on Wednesday, despite warnings on Tuesday that it was unsafe. Large cracks were reported throughout the structure the day before the collapse.
Junior internal affairs minister Shamsul Huz stated, “Everyone involved — including the designer, engineer, and builders — will be arrested for putting up this defective building.” Despite the terrible conditions inside the collapsed building, at least seven people were pulled out alive since daybreak on Saturday morning.
Frantic efforts are still underway to extract 15 people trapped under the mounds of broken concrete and steel bars. They are being supplied with dried food, bottled water, and oxygen. About 2,500 people have been rescued so far since the structure collapsed. At least half of those rescued were injured.
The Bangladesh building collapse has also served to reignite the rage of the terrible working conditions in the country’s factories, which employ about 3.6 million garment workers. Most of the workers are women. The anger has grown since the building collapsed on Wednesday, prompting hundreds of people to flood the streets. They smashed and burned cars in protest over the poor conditions and unsafe working environments.
The building’s owner was identified by Dhaka District police chief Habibur Rahman as Mohammed Sohel Rana, a leader of the ruling Awami League’s youth front. H.T. Imam, an adviser to the prime minister, added, “People are asking for his head, which is quite natural. This time we are not going to spare anybody.”
The rescue operation at the Bangladesh building collapse site is scheduled to turn into a recovery operation soon.
[Image via Twitter]