By rijans - Flickr: Dhaka Savar Building Collapse
24 Apr 2018

Five years after the building collaps in Bangladesh - still nobody has been tried for any crimes

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Hundreds of survivors and relatives of those who died when the clothing complex Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013 gathered on Tuesday to demand justice. Five years after the disaster, which killed 1,131 people, no one has yet been tried for any crimes.

Survivors and relatives  laid down flower wreaths and held photos of those killed or injured in the Rana Plaza disaster in the capital Dhaka five years ago.

About 3,500 people were in Rana Plaza, which contained several clothing factories, a bank and a shopping mall, when it collapsed.

In addition to 1 134 deaths, more than 2,000 people were injured - many of those who died in the collapse have never been identified.

One of the more than 500 people who demonstrated on Tuesday was Abdul Awwal, whose 25-year-old daughter died in the disaster.

"She left an eleven month old son behind. Her husband got married and left the son to us. Even after DNA tests, we still have no traces of our daughter. The boy has no memory of his mother and no grave to mourn by, says Abdul Awwal.

Last year, the property owner Sohel Rana was arrested and sentenced for corruption. But he is also accused of murder for ignoring signs that the building was about to collapse. The trial has, however, been postponed on several occasions.

Bangladesh is one of the world's largest textile exporters.

Rana Plaza USAR 2013. Photo: Wikipedia.
Rana Plaza USAR mission in the aftermaths of the disaster in 2013. Photo: Wikipedia.

In Rana Plaza on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka there were five factories, a bank and a shopping mall. More than 3,100 factory workers were in the building when it collapsed in April 2013.

At least 1 130 people lost their lives in the disaster.

Four years after the disaster, the property owner was imprisoned, but prosecution and trial have been postponed on several occasions and no one has been convicted of any crime.

Thousands of factories have been inspected since the tragedy, but work on improving safety is slow.

 

Thousands of workers and their unions rallied across Bangladesh April 24, the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse that killed more than 1,100 garment workers. The Solidarity Center is training garment worker organizers--many of them women--and supporting their efforts to demand safe factories. Credit: Solidarity Center/Sifat Sharmin Amita
Thousands of workers and their unions rallied across Bangladesh on April 24, the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse that killed more than 1,100 garment workers.  Credit: Solidarity Center/Sifat Sharmin Amita
 

Strong critique again the government USAR mission

According to a Wikipedia article, some buried workers drank their own urine to survive the high temperatures, waiting to be saved. Not only was the Bangladeshi government accused of favouring national pride over those buried alive, but many relatives of those trapped in the debris criticized the government for trying to end the rescue mission prematurely.

On the morning of 24 April, there was a power outage, and diesel generators on the top floor were started. The building collapsed at about 08:57 a.m. BST,leaving only the ground floor intact.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president confirmed that 3,122 workers were in the building at the time of the collapse. One local resident described the scene as if "an earthquake had struck."

The United Nations' urban search and rescue coordination group - known as the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group, or INSARAG - offered assistance from its members, but this offer was rejected by government of Bangladesh. The government made a statement suggesting that the area's local rescue emergency services were well equipped.

Prior to offering assistance to Bangladesh, the UN held consultations to assess the country's ability to mount an effective rescue operation, and they reached the conclusion that they lacked that capability.

Bangladeshi officials refused to accept the assistance offered to them by the UN. A large portion of the rescue operation consisted of inadequately equipped volunteers, many of whom had no protective clothing and wore sandals.

 

Credits:

Photo (Above)  by Rijans - Flickr: Dhaka Savar Building Collapse.

Wikipedia Commons. Video: (Below) A BBC documentary on The Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of the world's deadliest industrial disasters. A foreseeable consequence of the West's addiction to cheap clothes. 1,140 people died. 16 year-old Anna Akhter, who had her hand amputated before she could be pulled out, and 18 year-old Reshma Begum, who survived in the rubble for 17 days, tell their stories. Reporter Yalda Hakim for BBC 'Our World'.