The owner of a collapsed building in Bangladesh was arrested at the border after four days on the run. The building collapse killed hundreds of garment workers on Wednesday.
Mohammed Sohel Rana was arrested by the elite Rapid Action Batallion in the border town of Benapole on Sunday. It is suspected that the owner was trying to flee the country.
The four-day manhunt for Rana began when the building collapsed in on thousands of workers making low-cost garments for Western retailers. The country’s television showed the man, also a local leader of the ruling Awami League’s youth front, being flown to the capital of Dhaka by helicopter.
Four people were pulled out of the building’s rubble alive on Sunday after spending almost 100 hours beneath the twisted metal and crumbling concrete. Authorities have also raised the death toll to 377, but caution that it will likely climb higher as hundreds of people are still unaccounted for.
The collapsed building’s owner was being sought by police because the structure was built illegally and without the proper supports. Along with the first five floors not being given the correct authorization, the building’s top three floors were added on illegally. Also, the district where the commercial building was built was not zoned for factories.
The Bangladesh building collapse has already been named the deadliest tragedy ever for the country’s garment industry, which brings in $20 billion annually and is a mainstay to the country’s economy. The building owner’s arrest was announced on a loudspeaker at the site of the building collapse in a Dhaka suburb. People working on the rescue, as well as those looking for lost loved ones, greeted the announcement with cheers and claps.
It is not clear how long rescuers will continue to search for survivors amid the wreckage. Officials were supposed to start razing the building with heavy machinery on Saturday morning. However, that has not started. It is also not yet clear what charges will be brought against the owner of the illegally constructed building.
[Image via Twitter]