24 April 2013 THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE Part 1 20130424 – 20130523

BANGLADESH

THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

 8.45AM Wednesday- April 24, 2013-  8-storey building collapsed

1. _MG_3814

* More deaths as building with garment factories collapse in Savar, Bangladesh:

“Early in the morning came a thundering sound of …” said Rozina, a garment worker of a nearby factory who witnessed the collapse of “Rana Plaza”, an eight-storied building at ‘Savar’ on the outskirts of capital the Dhaka on the morning of Wednesday 24 April 2013.

At least 6 dead bodies have been recovered from till now, however the casualty figures may rise as several hundred people were feared trapped inside, said a fire service official. The identity of the deceased couldn’t be known immediately.

Three garment factories and several shops are housed from the second to eighth floors of the building. There remained parked several vehicles in its garage on the ground floor during the incident. Officials say that the factory collapsed at around 9:00 AM in the morning.

The building was already weak with prominent cracks growing since a long time now, some locals and workers reported. Neglected and illegal building structure is not uncommon as the demand for garment at “dirt money” climbed rapidly and many such factories with deplorable conditions started coming out like mushrooms across the city, most of them being subcontracting factories sharing the manufacturing load of the main sourcing factories of leading brands of the west.

“The only idea is to bring out cloth, the human factor is missing, they are considered to be factory oil.”  read more.

RISE

* Rana Plaza collapses, many dead:

Three bodies have been recovered so far by rescue workers from the debris of the multi-storied Rana Plaza at Savar Bus Stand after it caved in on Wednesday.

Fire service control room officials told bdnews24.com they fear more fatalities as many were still trapped under the debris or down with critical injuries in hospitals.

Savar Model Police OC Asaduzzaman said the rear of the building suddenly started to collapse around 8:30am on Wednesday. Within a short time, the whole structure, except the main pillar and parts of the front wall, had caved in triggering all-round panic.
Locals alleged many bodies were removed from the collapsed building.
More than 100 injured were admitted to local hospitals, they said.
But many more are still trapped under the debris.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* 10 dead, over 300 hurt:

Excavator removes rubble of a building that collapsed in Savar Wednesday, killing at least five people and injuring 200 others. Photo: TV grab

At least 10 people were killed and more than three hundred injured on Wednesday when an eight-storey building collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.

The casualty figures are set to rise as several hundred people are feared trapped inside, said locals.
Fire brigade workers and army personnel with their medical core joined the rescue operation with police and volunteers to search for victims who are trapped under the debris.
The building, “Rana Plaza” situated near Savar Bus Stand, collapsed around 8:45am. It had developed several cracks on Tuesday.
The building housed a market, several garment factories and a branch of Brac Bank, reported our correspondents covering the incident.  read more.
daily star bd

* Building collapse in Savar- 28 killed; more deaths feared:

At least 28 dead bodies were found and dozens others injured as an 8-storied building, Rana Plaza, collapsed in Savar bus stand area of Dhaka on Wednesday morning.

The identity of the deceased couldn’t be known immediately while death toll may rise as many others were trapped in the collapsed building.
Army and Fire service personnel were conducting rescue mission. There were few garments and shops in the building.   read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* 35 dead, over 300 hurt:

Curious people and relatives of the trapped gather as rescuers try to help out the trapped after an eight-storied building housing four garment factories in Savar collapsed Wednesday morning, Bodies of at least 10 people have been recovered and 300 have been learnt to be hurt. Photo: Palash KhanCurious people and relatives of the trapped gather as rescuers try to help out the trapped after an eight-storied building housing four garment factories in Savar collapsed Wednesday morning, Bodies of at least 10 people have been recovered and 300 have been learnt to be hurt. Photo: Palash Khan

At least 35 people were killed and over 300 injured in Savar on the outskirts of the capital Wednesday morning when an eight-storied building housing four garment factories collapsed.
With few hundred more believed to be trapped inside, rescuers fear the death toll may rise significantly.  read more.
daily star bd

Curious people and relatives of the trapped gather in front of the collapsed building. Photo: Palash KhanPhoto by DailyStar

daily star bd

* Hamid shocked at loss of lives in Savar building collapse:

President-elect Abdul Hamid on Wednesday expressed deep shock at the loss of lives in the tragic building collapse at Savar on the outskirt of the capital on Wednesday morning.

Hamid asked the authorities concerned to put in all-out efforts in the rescue operation to save the people still remained trapped inside the building and ensure the proper treatment of those injured in the tragic incident.
The President-elect asked the relevant authorities to take necessary steps to
prevent such incident in the future.
read more.
UNB

* Building Collapse: PM urges opposition to withdraw hartal:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the opposition leader to withdraw their ongoing hartal to ensure smooth rescue operation in the building collapse near Savar bus stand on Wednesday morning and sending the injured to hospitals and also to allow the relatives of the victims to travel in to the sport from across the country.

“I’ll urge the opposition leader to withdraw the hartal to speed up the rescue operation and also to allow the relatives of the deceased and injured to come to the spot,” she said.
The Prime Minister made the call while addressing a function marking the launching of two sets of the newly-imported high-speed Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) commuter train service on the Dhaka-Chittagong route as the chief guest at Kamalapur Railway Station.
Voicing profound shock at the loss of lives in the tragic incident, the premier said the government has taken all-out measures to speed up the rescue operation and ensure proper treatment of the injured.
Terming the incident as unfortunate that left many people dead and scores injured, Hasina said that following her immediate directives soon after the incident, the local administration along with teams from the Army, Fire Service and Civil Defense, police and Rab are conducting the rescue operation and sending the injured to various hospitals for better treatment.
Hasina said the Health Minister is also looking after the matter to ensure proper treatment of the injured.

At least 85 bodies were recovered so far from the debris of the building that collapsed around 9am.  read more.
UNB

* Rana Plaza collapses, many dead:

Three bodies have been recovered so far by rescue workers from the debris of the multi-storied Rana Plaza at Savar Bus Stand after it caved in on Wednesday.

Fire service control room officials told bdnews24.com they fear more fatalities as many were still trapped under the debris or down with critical injuries in hospitals.
Savar Model Police OC Asaduzzaman said the rear of the building suddenly started to collapse around 8:30am on Wednesday. Within a short time, the whole structure, except the main pillar and parts of the front wall, had caved in triggering all-round panic.
Locals alleged many bodies were removed from the collapsed building.
More than 100 injured were admitted to local hospitals, they said.
But many more are still trapped under the debris.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Scores dead in Bangladesh building collapse:

Survivors pulled from rubble after at least 70 people killed after eight-storey building collapses in outskirts of Dhaka

Hundreds remain trapped in the eight-storey building as the army organises rescue mission [EPA]

At least 70 people have been killed and many more are feared dead after an eight-storey building collapsed in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A massive rescue mission is now under way as officials said on Wednesday that hundreds of people were still trapped in the rubble.
Only the ground floor of the Rana Plaza in the Savar district, which also housed a garment factory, remained intact after the collapse at 8:30am on Wednesday morning, said the officials.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Dhaka, who is not being named for security reasons, described the scene as being chaotic.
“It is a scene of complete mayhem and chaos, hundreds of people are trapped under the rubble and a still being pulled out,” she said.
“The army has taken over rescuing people from the disaster. There were ordinary people on the scene but they are now being blocked as the army tries to make this an organised situation.”  read more.
aljazeera

* Bangladesh factory building collapse kills over 70, injures hundreds:

Crowds gather at the collapsed Rana Plaza building as people rescue garment workers trapped in the rubble, in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka April 24, 2013. REUTERS-Andrew Biraj

An eight-storey block housing factories and a shopping centre collapsed on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital on Wednesday, killing more than 70 people and injuring hundreds, a government official said.

Fire fighters and army personnel worked frantically through the morning at the Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka, to rescue people trapped inside.
One fireman told Reuters that about 2,000 people were in the building when the upper floors jolted down on top of each other.
Bangladesh’s booming garment industry has been plagued by fires and other accidents for years, despite a drive to improve safety standards. In November last year, 112 workers were killed in a blaze at a factory in an industrial suburb of Dhaka.
“It looks like an earthquake has struck here,” said one resident as he looked on at the chaotic scene of smashed concrete and ambulances making their way through the crowds of workers and wailing relatives of those still inside.
“I was at work on the third floor, and then suddenly I heard a deafening sound, but couldn’t understand what was happening. I ran and was hit by something on my head,” said Sohra Begum a worker at one of the garment factories.  read more.reuters

* Workers forced to “work”:

A number of workers of four garment factories in Savar alleged that they were forced to work in the morning.

At least 70 people were killed and over 600 injured when a nine-storey building housing four garment factories, a branch of Brac bank and a market collapsed Wednesday morning.
“We were forced to work in the morning. We were working inside the building risking our lives,” said a worker who was undergoing treatment at Enam Medical College and Hospital in Savar.
He was talking to reporters at the hospital.  to read.
daily star bd

* No study done regarding building: Rajuk:

The development authority of Dhaka has criticised the local authorities for not conducting any study whether the Savar building, which collapsed on Wednesday, was fit to house garment factories.

“The local authorities have no engineer, architect or inspector. They only approve a plan by putting a signature,” said Emdadul Islam, chief engineer of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).
The local authorities pass on all the responsibilities to Rajuk whenever an accident takes place, he added.
Emdadul was talking to reporters shortly after a nine-storied building collapse in Savar that housed four garment factories Wednesday morning leaving at least 70 people dead and over 600 injured.
“Though Rajuk is authorised to make plan and carry out development structure in the municipality areas, local authorities like Narayanganj, Savar and Gazipur approve plans under the provision of Rajuk’s construction law,” said the Rajuk engineer.
He also blamed the local authorities as they carry out development work without any feasible study.  to read.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza housed 5 garment units: BGMEA:

The nine-storey building of Savar that collapsed Wednesday morning housed five garment factories, according to the latest member directory of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

At least 107 people were killed and more than 600 injured in the building collapse that took place around 8:45am.
Around 3,000 workers were supposed to be work in the factories when the building collapsed, the BGMEA directory added.
The factories are: Ether Tex, New Wave Bottoms, New Wave Style, Phantom Apparels and Phantom Tac.
According to the BGMEA directory, 377 workers were supposed to be in the Ether Tex, while 526 in New Wave Bottoms, 1,073 in New Wave Style, 739 in Phantom Apparels and 407 in Phantom Tac. to read. & read more.
daily star bd
  BSS

* BGMEA says factories at Savar building kept open ignoring its instruction:

Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at a meeting on Tuesday night directed the owners to keep their factories at the collapsed Rana Plaza closed fearing a major accident. 

“We had a meeting last night and directed the owners to shutdown the factories. Despite that, the factories were kept open,” BGMEA second vice president SM Mannan Kochi told reporters at Savar.
He said the eight-storey building developed cracks on Tuesday morning and local mayor Refayet Ullah and TNO Kabir Hossain Sarkar visited the building.
“There’s nothing dangerous and factories can be kept open,” Mannan Kochi quoted TNO Hossain as saying.  read more.

* Stern action against those responsible for Savar tragedy:

Home Minister Dr Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Wednesday said the government would take stern legal actions those responsible for the Saval building collapse that claimed over 100 lives so far.

“The building built violating rules. There’s no approval from the relevant authorities. We’ll investigate the matter and take actions against those responsible,” he told journalists after visiting the spot at Savar.  read more.

* National mourning day Thursday:

The government has declared a national mourning day Thursday to pay respect to those who died in Wednesday’s Savar building collapse.

While making the announcement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: “This will not be a holiday because we have already lost two working days due to the opposition-called hartal (shutdown).”
Talking in the parliament Wednesday afternoon, the PM thanked to opposition for withdrawing hartal.  to read.
daily star bd

* Scores Dead and Injured as Savar Garment Building Collapse – RISE Society Updates right from the site:

Early at 9AM on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, a 9 storied building collapsed to rubble in seconds at the Savar area.

ranaplazacollapse

The ground floor till the 2nd story was a market of shops popularly known as the ‘Rana Plaza’. The floors from the 3rd to the 9th comprised of the RMG factories namely, “New Wave Style Limited”, “New Wave Bottoms Limited (sic)”, :Ether Garments Limited” and “Phantom Garments Limited”. Each floor housed a minimum of 800 workers. The eighth and ninth floor was made illegally.

Injured workers retrieved from the rubble said that they had seen the building crack the night before, due to which they refrained from working night-shift on the 23rd.April 2013.

When workers refused to work on Wednesday morning, fearing the growing ridge on the wall, they had been forced into the factory by factory goons and guards to continue their work as the next shipment was to be on 28th April 2013. The collapse only lasted a few seconds and moments later more than 5000 workers were amass a hill of rods, bricks and dirt all over them.  read more.

RISE

* Labels Primark and Mango found after factory collapse Bangladesh:

Labour Rights groups mourn senseless loss of life

The Clean Clothes Campaign, along with trade unions and labour rights organisations in Bangladesh and around the world is calling for immediate action from international brands following today’s collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, in Dhaka Bangladesh. The collapse of the eight story building, covering three factories and a mall, cost the lives of at least 82 people and injured over 800.

Activists today managed to enter the ruins of ‘Rana Plaza’ and found labels linking major European retailers to this latest tragedy:  Spanish high street brand Mango and British Primark. Rana Plaza also produced for a host of well known European and US brand names including C&A, KIK and Wal-Mart. These brands were also involved in the fire at the Tazreen factory, not far from Savar, where 112 workers died in a fire exactly five months ago. German costcutter KIK was also involved in the Ali Enterprises fire in Pakistan, where nearly 300 workers burned to death last September.

The killed and injured workers were producing garments for when their factory – with allegedly illegally built floors – suddenly gave way with a loud sound, leaving only the ground floor intact.  This latest collapse provides yet further evidence that voluntary company led monitoring has failed to protect workers’ lives. Labour rights groups say unnecessary deaths will continue unless and until brands and government officials agree to an independent and binding fire and building safety program.

“It’s unbelievable that brands still refuse to sign a binding agreement with unions and labour groups to stop these unsafe working conditions from existing. Tragedy after tragedy shows that corporate-controlled monitoring is completely inadequate,”  says Tessel Pauli from Clean Clothes Campaign.  read more.
CCC

* Blood needed for Savar victims:

Different organisations have urged people to donate blood to save victims of building collapse in Savar.

The call came as scores of injured victims suffer at different hospitals for want of blood.
At least 80 people were killed and over 600 injured as a nine-storied building housing five garment units in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, collapsed Wednesday.
Besides Enam Medical College and Hospital, which treated a few hundred injured victims, Shahbagh Gonojagoron Mancha and other organisations came up voluntarily to reach out to the victims.  read more.
daily star bd

* Savar victims to get free treatment: Ruhal:

All measures have been taken to bring the victims of Savar to Dhaka for free and better treatment, Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque said on Wednesday.

The minister told reporters after visiting the injured at the Enam Medical College Hospital, “We came here at the Prime Minister’s order. I am in constant touch with her. A total of 10 medical teams have arrived here from Dhaka.”
“Those who cannot be treated here will be taken to Dhaka”  read more.wf-escenic-times

* Building code not followed: MKA:

The building code was not followed when it was constructed in Savar, said Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Wednesday.

“The building was not constructed following the building code. We will investigate the incident and bring the people responsible for the accident to justice,” the minister told reporters during his visit to Rana Plaza.
At least 80 people were killed and over 600 injured when the nine-storey building housing five garment factories, a market and a branch of Brac Bank collapsed around 8:45am.
The government will provide the affected people with food, shelter, relief and necessary rehabilitation facilities, the minister told reporters.
“We will make sure that nobody in the future can endanger the lives of the people with such a reckless act,” he added.  to read.
daily star bd

* BGMEA blames building owner:

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has blamed the owner of the building for the deadly collapse on Wednesday and sought ‘capital punishment’ for him.

But workers were forcibly brought to work in the factories, many of the wounded have alleged.
The industry lobby’s President Atiqul Islam told journalists at the scene of the accident that their inspection team had visited the building with Industrial Police on Tuesday when ‘cracks’ appeared.
“The owner promised to keep the building closed when he was asked to do so. But he did not keep his promise,” the President said.
The owner Mohammad Sohel Rana is a Convenor of local Jubo League, the youth front of ruling Awami League.  read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.wf-escenic-times  BSS  logo  newstodayBD

* Probe opens into Savar collapse:

The government has launched investigations into the collapse of the eight-storey commercial building in Savar that claimed over 100 lives and injured over 600.

The Ministry of Labour and Empowerment has asked a five-member committee to submit findings within seven working days, the ministry’s Public Relations Officer SM Arifuzzaman told bdnews24.com.
Headed by Labour Director Abu Syed Md Khurshid, the committee has a Deputy Secretary-level official, Chief Inspector of Factories and Establishment, a labour representative and another representative of the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Arifuzzaman said that the panel will find out those responsible for the collapse, reasons behind the incident and determine the actual number of deceased.
read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Building collapses killing dozens in Savar:

Rescuers retrieved so far 80 bodies and feared scores of people were trapped inside an eight storied commercial building in Savar as it collapsed earlier today.

“We have retrieved so far 80 bodies . . . many more people, dead or alive, are still trapped inside” as the rescue campaign was underway, fire service director general Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan told newsmen at the scene in the late afternoon.

Home minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir earlier said army troops, fire service, police and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) troops were mobilized as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered activation of all agencies for rescue operations.

“The fact is we don’t know yet how many people were killed actually . . . but I can tell you the building was not built in compliance with the (safety) rules and regulations,” Alamgir told newsmen at the scene also visited by other senior government leaders including information minister Hasanul Haq Inu.  read more.
BSS

* Dhk district to give Tk 20,000 to each victim family:

Dhaka district administration declared to provide Tk 20,000 to each family of Savar victims.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Zillur Rahman made the announced on Wednesday noon.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Loss of lives in Savar building collapse condoled:

Different political and trade bodies and individuals on Wednesday expressed shock at the loss of lives in the Savar building collapse.

Some 100 bodies were recovered from the debris of the building that collapsed near Savar bus stand on the outskirts of the capital in the morning.
Acting Speaker Shawkat Ali, Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Industries Minister Dilip Barua, Chief Whip Abdus Shahid and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh President Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury in separate statements condoled the deaths of people in the building collapse.
read more.

* Bangladeshi garment workers crushed to death:

In what is likely to be the worst ever industrial accident in Bangladesh more than 100 garment workers have died and hundreds more are injured. The tragedy occurred at 9am, 24 April, at the eight-story Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 kilometres outside Dhaka.

The collapsed building contained six garment factories and hundreds of workers and was allegedly illegally built and had a large structural crack appear in its wall yesterday. When local authorities brought the crack to the attention of the garment factory owners ordering them to evacuate they were ignored, while the shop and bank on the building’s ground floor heeded the warning and evacuated.

Now 500 workers are injured, many critically, 102 are dead and many more can be heard from under the rubble screaming for help and screaming that they do not want to die while rescue teams attempt to reach them. The IndustriALL Global Union affiliated textile and garment trade unions in Bangladesh are present and supporting the rescue efforts.

Affiliates work jointly through the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) which today used a joint press conference to put forward joint demands and programme of action, calling for justice and action from authorities and brands. The IBC will mobilize all affiliates in a mass demonstration on 26 April in front of the Dhaka Press Club.  read more.

Home

* Over 100 Workers Killed in Deadly Garment Factory Collapse in Bangladesh:

An eight-story building named Rana Plaza in the Savar neighborhood on the outskirts of Dhaka collapsed at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

At least 105 garment workers are confirmed dead, and the death toll is constantly rising.  An estimated 1000 workers have been injured, many badly in need of blood transfusions.  There were approximately 2500 workers in the Rana Plaza building, of whom 600 have been rescued.  Many are still trapped inside.

“I was in the cutting section of the garment factory and suddenly we heard a huge noise and the building collapsed within a few minutes,” a garment worker told us. “I removed the rubble and came out with two other workers. But at least 30 other workers in my cutting section were still unaccounted for.”  read more.

IGLHR

* Death toll reaches 108:

At least 108 people were killed and over 600 injured in Savar on the outskirts of the capital Wednesday morning when a nine-storey building housing five garment factories collapsed.

With few hundred more believed to be trapped inside, rescuers fear the death toll may rise significantly.
Most of the victims who have been rescued from under the debris in the afternoon are dead, reported our correspondents from the spot.
“The building might have collapsed due to faulty construction,” said Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir.  read more.
daily star bd

* Tk 55 lakh allocated for Savar victims:

The government on Wednesday allocated Tk 55 lakh for the victims of Savar building collapse.

Tk 20,000 for the family of each dead and Tk 5,000 for each injured have been allocated, Abdul Wazed, director general of the Department of Disaster Management, told The Daily Star in the evening.
Families of 45 deceased have already received the amount allocated for them, Wazed said.  read more.
daily star bd

* It assures compensation, treatment; 3 bodies formed:

Terming the Saval building collapse the biggest tragedy in the country’s apparel sector, BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam on Wednesday said they have formed three committees to oversee rehabilitation, compensation and proper treatment of the injured.

“We’re deeply saddened, spellbound. This is the biggest tragedy in the country’s readymade garment sector. We’ll do whatever is needed…,” he told an urgently called crowded press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban in the evening.
Directors and officials of the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) will lead the committees which will work 24 hours.
read more.

* Disaster: Over 85 killed, 1000 hurt:

In the worst ever building collapse in Bangladesh’s 42-year history, at least 85 people were killed and over 1,000 injured in Savar, some 20 kilometer north of the capital, on Wednesday.

The tragic incident occurred when the eight-storey Rana Plaza near  Savar Bus Stand housing four garment factories, a bank branch and several stores came down around 9 am, instantly killing dozens of people and trapping hundreds of others in the debris. Over 300 injured people, many of them in critical condition, were admitted to Enam Medical College Hospital while dozens of others were rushed to nearby medical facilities including Savar Combined Military Hospital, Sima General Hospital, Super Clinic Centre and Savar Gana Sashtha Kendra.
read more.
logo

* 115 killed in Savar bldg collapse:

Some 115 bodies were recovered from the debris of the building that collapsed near Savar bus stand on the outskirts of the capital on Wednesday morning, reports UNB.

Of the bodies, many were taken to Enam Medical College Hospital while the rest to different local hospitals and clinics, but the victims could not yet be identified. “I’ve received 100 bodies and sent those to various hospitals and clinics till 4:45pm,” Wahiduzzaman, OC DB (Dhaka district).
More than 1000 have been reported injured while many remained trapped in the debris.  read more.
newstodayBD

* It’s RMG sector’s biggest tragedy: BGMEA:

Terming the Saval building collapse the biggest tragedy in the country’s apparel sector, BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam on Wednesday said they have formed three committees to oversee rehabilitation, compensation and proper treatment of the injured.

“We’re deeply saddened, spellbound. This is the biggest tragedy in the country’s readymade garment sector. We’ll do whatever is needed…,” he told an urgently called crowded press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban in the evening.
Directors and officials of the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) will lead the committees which will work 24 hours.
Former BGMEA presidents M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and Abdus Salam Murshedy were, among others, present.
He assured that they will bear the expenses of treatment for the injured workers and will compensate the families of the victims.   read more.

+++++++++

20130425

* 100 killed as building collapses at Savar:

About a 100 apparel workers were killed and several hundred injured as a nine-storey building housing apparel units and a shopping mall collapsed on a bordering building at Savar on Wednesday morning.

With several hundred more believed to have been trapped inside, rescuers fear the death toll could be rising significantly.
Unofficial estimates, based on hospital records and statements of survivors and others, say that about a hundred were killed.
The Fire Service and Civil Defence later afternoon said that rescuers could recover about 80 bodies from the rubble. There has, however, been no official figure so far on the number of death.  read more.

* Inside the hell:

Mahmudur suddenly felt a jolt. Within a moment, he noticed his colleagues running back and forth, screaming. It took Mahmudur little time to understand that something ominous was going to happen.

As soon as he along with others moved 20 feet towards the staircases, the building began collapsing, giving him the feeling of a lift going down.
“Darkness engulfed the entire place with thick clouds of debris. I heard screams around me. My heart started pounding,” said Mahmudur, a quality inspector of Ethar Tex Ltd on the fifth floor.
“I lay down near a pillar, thinking that perhaps I was going to die. We were being roasted inside,” he said. The roof curved and fell on him, leaving a space of three feet above him.
After sometime, a ray of hope emerged when he saw a faint light. It was a mobile phone light of one of his colleagues. He found a few more colleagues and together they pondered how they could find a way out of the horror.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rising high, illegally:

The collapsed nine-storey building in Savar never had any approval from Rajuk while supervision during its intermittent construction to raise more and more floors was virtually absent.

The vertical expansion of the structure on a floor space of 24,416 square feet (around 56 decimal of land) took place in several phases over the last five years.
According to locals, the construction and the recent erection of the ninth floor spawned a rumour in the area questioning the quality of the building.
The building had two entrances.

The back one was solely used by hundreds of workers of five garment factories on the upper floors while people coming to markets on the ground and first floor used the front access on the Dhaka-Aricha highway.
Rana Plaza was owned by Awami League youth wing Jubo League’s Savar town unit senior joint convener Md Sohel Rana. Locals said none had dared to challenge the construction of the building succumbing to the young politician’s influence in the area.
read more.
daily star bd

* Help aplenty:

Onlookers give away as an injured of the Rana Plaza collapse is rushed into Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar yesterday. Photo: Palash Khan

Onlookers give away as an injured of the Rana Plaza collapse is rushed into Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar yesterday. Photo: Palash Khan

It is an eerie syncopation of pain and grief, frantic effort and desperation at the Enam Medical College and Hospital.

“Bandage.”

“Forceps.”

“Quick. Where is pethidine?”

“Put the drip on. Full”

“My brother! O my brother. Where are you? Why did you go to work today?”

“Help me. I am dying. Help!”

Frantic words fly around the emergency room of Enam Hospital at Savar as victims are brought in streams. The high-pitched sirens of the ambulances just add a hellish edge to the scene.
Several hundred doctors and interns in white aprons swarm around the injured. Many of them just lie motionless with life drained out of them.
read more.
daily star bd

* 8-storey bldg collapses at Savar:

One hundred people were killed and several hundred others injured as an eight-storied commercial building that housed five garment factories collapsed Wednesday morning in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.

Firefighters, army personnel and members of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) joined hands to conduct operation to rescue the people trapped inside the rubble. Online media put the death figure at 116 until our going to press at 9:15 pm Wednesday.
According to rescuers and locals, the death toll might go up as many others were believed to have been trapped under the wreckage of Rana Plaza until late in the evening.  read more.

* Call for arrest of building owner:

Left-leaning political parties and apparel sector rights organisations on Wednesday demanded the arrest of the owner of the eight-storey Rana Plaza at Savar that collapsed in the morning on a bordering building leaving more than a hundred, mostly apparel workers, dead.

Ganasanghati Andolan held protests near the National Press Club demanding an early arrest of the building owner.
The party’s acting chief coordinator Abul Hasan Rubel alleged that the owner of the building was responsible for the death of the workers.
A procession followed the rally.
Garments Workers’ Trade Union Centre leaders at another rally in the place said that the building owner was responsible for the death of the workers as the building had earlier been identified as risky.  read more.

* Uphill task in hand:

Firemen with the help of a large number of local volunteers rescue garment workers from the sandwiched floors of Rana Plaza at Bazar bus stand in Savar after it collapsed yesterday morning. Photo: Palash KhanFiremen with the help of a large number of local volunteers rescue garment workers from the sandwiched floors of Rana Plaza at Bazar bus stand in Savar after it collapsed yesterday morning. Photo: Palash Khan

Rana Plaza is now a mountain of jumbled concrete debris. Concrete pillars of every shape dangle precariously, ready to snap and crash down.

Close to the top just under a bundle of cloth lies the half-buried body of a woman. A huge pillar lies across her. Her blood-spattered hair has grown stiff.
Nobody takes much notice of her. Rescuers clamber around, peeking into hundreds of crevices of the heap of debris that was once a nine-storey building.
The dead can wait for now. More important are those who are trapped alive. Nobody can actually say how many are trapped but it would not be less than 2,000, on top of the 106 already confirmed dead.
Time is running out and the extreme heat is taking a toll on the survivors buried under the collapsed building.  read more.
daily star bd

* BGMEA forms 3 bodies over Savar tragedy:

The Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Wednesday formed three separate committees to oversee rescue and rehabilitation activities of the Savar tragedy victims.

The committees will look into emergency blood supply, treatment facilities, and collection of information about the garment workers, who were critically injured in the multi-storied Rana Plaza collapse Wednesday.
The BGMEA teams will be working round-the-clock in this connection. The country’s apex apparel body has already set up two information cells at the BGMEA headquarters and near to the collapsed commercial building at Savar.  read more.

* Savar tragedy in world media:

The incident of collapse of eight-story commercial building Rana Plaza has been widely covered in the international media.

The Daily Telegraph, a leading daily of the United Kingdom said, ‘The website for one of the Bangladeshi garment factory companies, New Wave, which occupied three of the floors of Rana Plaza in Dhaka’s Savar district, indicates that at least half of those dead and injured were women and that many children may also be among the victims. The company provides crèche facilities for the children of its female workers on the 2nd, 6th and 7th floors of the building’ it added.

The implosion follows the fire at another Dhaka clothing factory building in November in which 112 people died and raises further questions over safety and working standards in the country’s £13 billion garment industry which supplies many high street clothing brands in Britain and the United States. One of the factories in the building lists Benetton and Monsoon as clients.

News agency Reuters said, fire fighters and army personnel worked frantically through the day at the Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka, to rescue people trapped in the rubble.  read more.
logo

Dhaka collapse kills up to 100:

A block housing garment factories and shops collapsed in Bangladesh on Wednesday, killing nearly 100 people and injuring more than 1,000, officials said.

Firefighters and troops dug frantically through the rubble at the eight-storey Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 kilometers outside Dhaka. Television showed young women workers, some apparently semi-conscious, being pulled out.
One fireman told Reuters that about 2,000 people were in the building when the upper floors jolted down on top of each other.
(..)
Five garment factories, employing mostly women, were housed in the building, including Ether Tex Ltd, whose chairman told Reuters he was unaware of any warnings not to open the workshops. “There were some crack at the second floor, but my factory was on the fifth floor,” said Muhammad Anisur Rahman. “The owner of the building told our floor manager that it is not a problem and so you can open the factory.”

He initially said that his firm had been sub-contracted to supply Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, and Europe’s C&A. In a subsequent interview he said he had been referring to an order in the past, not current work.
Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to requests for comment. C&A said that, based on its best information, it had no contractual relationship with any of the production units in the building that collapsed. read more.

* Stern action against violators: BGMEA:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Wednesday demanded punishment to the owners of the building and garment factories which collapsed killing around 100 workers.

“The BGMEA had instructed the factory owners, who are also members of BGMEA, to keep their factories closed as some cracks were developed in the 8-story building that housed three garments units, a bank branch and around three hundred shops.
But they opened the factories violating the instruction,” said BGMEA president Atiqul Islam while addressing a press conference at BGMEA office Wednesday evening.
Avoiding to give direct answers to a volley of questions raised by the journalists about who was responsible for the collapse, the BGMEA owners only said those who will be found guilty by investigation should be punished.  read more.logo

* Nation mourns tragedy today:

The nation will observe national mourning on Thursday (today) following the tragic building collapse near Savar bus stand on the outskirts of the capital on Wednesday morning that left over a hundred people dead and many more injured, reports UNB.

“The nation will observe mourning on Thursday following the huge loss of lives in building collapse in Savar and national flags in all the government, semi-government and autonomous offices will fly at half-mast,” Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.

Besides, he said, special prayers would be offered in all the mosques and religious temples seeking  divine blessings for the eternal peace of the departed souls.  read more.
newstodayBD

* RMG sector faces severe blow in int’l market for Savar tragedy:

The Savar tragedy is another blow in the international market for the country’s readymade garment industry which is yet to recover from the effects of Tazreen factory fire, said economists and garment exporters.

More than 100 people, most of them garment workers, were killed, 500 were injured and scores of others were trapped when an nine-storey building, Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories and other shops, collapsed at Savar on Wednesday.
read more.

* Deaths in Savar building-collapse condoled:

The president, prime minister, acting speaker, opposition leader, ministers, parliament members, and diplomats on Wednesday expressed their grave shock at the loss of lives in the tragic building-collapse at Savar.

More than 100 apparel workers were killed and several hundreds injured as an eight-storey building housing garment factories and a shopping centre collapsed on Wednesday morning near Savar bus stand.
Human Rights Forum, a national platform of 19 rights organisations, different professional bodies and socio-cultural organisations, among others, also offered their condolences.
President Abdul Hamid expressed his deep shock at the fatalities in the tragic incident. He prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and early recovery of the injured. read more.

* 730 RMG workers killed in fires, factory collapses in 11 years:

The country’s booming garment industry, its biggest export earner, has been plagued by building-collapses, fires, and other accidents, leaving at least 730 workers killed in the past 11 years, according to the data of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies.

Another 4,700 garment workers have been injured, many of whom have lost their ability to work, in the incidents, but most of the injured and the families of the killed did not get compensation.
Most of the readymade garment factory buildings in Bangladesh are structurally unsafe. Buildings are illegally converted into factories that run day and night to meet production targets.  read more.

* Another shock for garment:

The collapse of a nine-storey building in Savar yesterday came as another blow to garment exports.

The building, Rana Plaza, housed five garment factories, according to the latest member directory of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Around 3,000 workers were supposed to be at work in the factories when the building collapsed.
Garment manufacturers and exporters said the incident occurred at a time when the main foreign currency earning sector is passing rough waters against a backdrop of the ongoing political turmoil in the country.
Bangladesh exported knitwear worth $7.59 billion and woven products worth $8.09 billion in the July-March period of fiscal 2012-13.  read more.
daily star bd

* Garment workers to announce tougher agitations from April 27 rally:

Garments workers are likely to announce tougher agitation programmes from their rally to be held at Shapla Square at Motijheel on April 27 in protest against the 13-point demands of Islamist outfit Hefajat-e-Islam.

Garments workers will go for tougher agitations, as the demands of Hefajat are against their rights and threaten their jobs and livelihoods, the leaders of Garments Sramik Rakkha Andolan, a combine of 45 garment workers organisations, said at a briefing at National Press Club on Wednesday.  read more

* It’s RMG sector’s biggest tragedy: BGMEA:

Terming the Saval building collapse the biggest tragedy in the country’s apparel sector, BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam on Wednesday said they have formed three committees to oversee rehabilitation, compensation and proper treatment of the injured.

“We’re deeply saddened, spellbound. This is the biggest tragedy in the country’s readymade garment sector. We’ll do whatever is needed…,” he told an urgently called crowded press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban in the evening.
Directors and officials of the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) will lead the committees which will work 24 hours.
Former BGMEA presidents M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and Abdus Salam Murshedy were, among others, present.
He assured that they will bear the expenses of treatment for the injured workers and will compensate the families of the victims.   read more.

* 123 killed as building collapses at Savar:

At least 123 people, mostly female apparel workers, were killed and more than a thousand injured as a eight-storey building housing five apparel units and a shopping mall collapsed on a bordering building at Savar on Wednesday morning.

With several hundred more believed to have been trapped inside, rescuers fear that the death toll could be rising significantly.
‘One hundred and twenty-three bodies have so far been recovered from the debris,’ the superintendent of police in Dhaka, Habibur Rahman, told New Age about midnight. The death toll could be rising.  read more.

* Rescue races against time:

DEATH OF A DREAM … She put on her anklets and showed up for work yesterday, probably still unsure whether to get in after the scare on Tuesday when a rumble was heard coursing through the building, leaving cracks behind. Assured that everything was okay, she went in, not knowing the day would be her last, that her world would come crashing down. Her anklets do not make music anymore. The unmoving foot speaks of a life forever stilled. Photo: Rashed Shumon

Rana Plaza is now a mountain of jumbled concrete debris. Concrete pillars of every shape dangle precariously, ready to snap and crash down. Close to the top just under a bundle of cloth lies the half-buried body of a woman. A huge pillar lies across her. Her blood-spattered hair has grown stiff.

Nobody takes much notice of her. Rescuers clamber around, peeking into hundreds of crevices of the heap of debris that was once a nine-storey building.
The dead can wait for now. More important are those who are trapped alive. Nobody can actually say how many are trapped but it would not be less than 1,600, on top of the 142 already confirmed dead as of 2:30am today. More than 1,000 others were injured one way or the other.
Time is running out and the extreme heat is taking a toll on the survivors buried under the collapsed building.   read more.
daily star bd

* They risk life for humanity:

They were pretty ordinary people but took up the heroic job of rescuing those who got trapped inside the broken-down nine-storey building in Savar on the outskirts of the capital yesterday.

Just after the building collapsed around 8:45am, local people and relatives of those who were inside — dead or alive — rushed to the site. They did whatever they could do to bring the victims out, at times putting their lives at risk of being killed in a further collapse of the yet-standing pillars and walls.

To gather momentum into the rescue operations, they were chanting “Hurry up” and “Speed up rescue operations, save the people.” Volunteer rescuers went inside the rubble, removing bricks and pillars and breaking through walls. They created passages to carry the victims out to safety.  read more,
daily star bd

* Disaster: Over 130 killed, 1000 hurt:

In the worst ever building collapse in Bangladesh’s 42-year history, at least 112 people were killed and over 1,000 injured in Savar, some 20 kilometer north of the capital, on Wednesday.

The tragic incident occurred when the eight-storey Rana Plaza near  Savar Bus Stand housing four garment factories, a bank branch and several stores came down around 9 am, instantly killing dozens of people and trapping hundreds of others in the debris. “So far 138 dead bodies have been recovered,” said State Minister for Home Shamsul Huq Tuku late at night at the spot where he went oversee the rescue operation.
Savar Police have also recorded a case regarding the collapse.  Helal Uddin Ahmed, authorising officer of Rajuk, filed the case against the building owner for violating the building code last night. Besides, police have also filed the case against the owner and authorities of the building for deaths due to negligence, said Asaduzzaman, OC, Savar police station.
read more.
logo

* It crumbles like a pack of cards:

It crumbles like a pack of cards

It was 8:45am, a bright glorious morning.

The nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar was humming with life. Sewing machines whirred; irons steamed. Nobody was much bothered about the cracks that had developed in the building the day before.

In fact, more than 2,000 people working there had forgotten it in the flurry of activity.
Laxmi Sarkar, a sewing machine helper, was working on her machine next to a pillar on the third floor.
Suddenly, she felt that the floor started tipping, as if it had come alive.
The first thing that came to her mind was the cracks in the building.
Laxmi jumped up. As she was running down the stairs, she heard a thunderous sound. read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza had no RAJUK approval:

‘Owner totally responsible’

The collapsed 8-storied Rana Plaza at Savar; which claimed at least 110 lives and left over 900 injured had no Rajuk permission prompting people to wonder whether there is a kind of lawlessness reigning the country’s construction sector.

Two laws are contradiction each other. One such law said a person who want to construct a building at Savar before 2008 was not required to take Rajuk permission, since it is not located in the city area.
Another law said it is mandatory to take such permission. There is a total chaos and dishonest people have taken advantage of it.
Rana Plaza was built in 2004-05 having obtained the approval from the Savar municipality only, the Rajuk sources said.   read more.
Logo

* Murder, not accident:

Signs of collapse ignored by building owner; he vanishes after rescue; only Brac Bank responds to evacuation call

Can the collapse of the nine-storey building in Savar yesterday be called an accident?
Unlike any accident, which catches victims off guard, people in decision-making positions at Rana Plaza had had warning about the problems of the building a day ahead of the tragedy.
Ignoring the warning, the authorities, including the building owner Sohel Rana, decided to keep the building open for business, a decision that has cost, as of filing of this report at 2:30am, 142 lives.
Interestingly, 11 people were saved by a quick decision by the top management of Brac Bank. The bank suspended operations of a branch located on the second floor of the building.
Rana Plaza at Bazar bus stand housed five garment factories from the third to the eighth floors.  read more.
daily star bd

* Global impact feared:

Apparel exporters yesterday feared that the spillover impact of the building collapse in Savar that killed at least 110 RMG workers could leave severe consequences to the country’s garments export.

More than 3,000 workers were on duty when the eight-storied building “Rana Plaza,” containing five apparel factories from three to eighth floor, collapsed on Wednesday morning.
The RMG industry of Bangladesh is going to face a severe backlash from the global buyers who are loud about the safety standard of garment workers in their workplaces.
The tragic incident will create worldwide concerns over labor safety and standards in the local RMG factories prompting the EU and the US buyers to raise new conditions.
GSP facility may come under renewed threats as it hearing is currently taking place in Washington.
“It would be big blow for the local RMG industry  read more.
Logo

* Rana wreckage haunted by life, but time running out for rescuers:

The abject scene of death and destruction in Savar where the ill-constructed Rana Plaza stood so precariously before plunging into the earth on Wednesday morning, was interspersed with a string of small miracles in the early hours of Thursday, that stood testament to the sheer resilience of human life in the face of unfathomable tragedy. 

As UNB wrapped up its coverage of the somewhat fitful but enthusiastic rescue effort around 3am on Thursday – roughly 18 hours on from the moment the 8-floor building housing at least 4 garment factories and some 300 shops with up to 6,000 workers – the official death toll had risen to 135, as indicated by the number of bodies laid out on the grounds of a nearby college. The final death toll is likely to be much higher.
More than a few souls whispered untold numbers had been whisked away in the darkness, but ever since evening fell the focus had shifted very much onto the living.
read more.

* 8-storey building collapses in Savar; over 127 dead:

An eight-storey building at Savar bus stand on the outskirts of the capital collapsed on Wednesday morning, killing over 127 people and injuring some 800.

“Around 127 dead bodies have been recovered and 75 identified so far,” Assistant Police Super of Savar Moshi Uddawla Reja told UNB at night.  read more.

* Savar tragedy likely to concern US:

The building collapse in Savar killing dozens of people on Wednesday is likely to be a cause of concern among the United States authorities with regards to GSP (Generalised System of Preference) benefits for Bangladeshi products in the US market, fears government officials.

Such a tragic incident on the day of post-hearing submission on GSP to the US Trade Representative is embarrassing for the country and will not certainly do any good in terms of the country’s image with regards to safety in work places, they said.

“It is embarrassing for us as this tragic incident in Savar coincided with the day of post-hearing submission on GSP to the USTR,” said a senior Foreign Ministry official.  read more.
logo

* Factory building collapse in Bangladesh kills 149:

Rescue workers and people look for survivors after an eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday. Pic: AP.

Rescuers tried to free people believed trapped in the concrete rubble of a building housing mainly garment factories that collapsed in Bangladesh a day after workers complained cracks had developed in the structure. The death toll jumped Thursday to 149 after searchers worked through the night.

“Many” people are still trapped, said the rescue operations leader, army Brig. Gen. Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder said Thursday morning. A clearer picture of the rescue operation would be available by afternoon he said.  read more.
asiancorres

* Building Collapse Today Is Another Wake-Up Call for Walmart and Other Major Buyers to Act Immediately to Prevent Future Tragedies:

More than 80 workers died and hundreds were injured when apparel factories collapsed in the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh today. Families continue to search for survivors. 

This disaster comes just 5 months after the fire at Tazreen Fashions garment factory near Dhaka, which killed 112 workers on November 24, 2012.  Walmart-labeled product was found in Tazreen and now one of the factories in the Rana complex, Ether-Tex, had listed Walmart-Canada as a buyer on their website.  Walmart has yet to contribute to the worker compensation fund for Tazreen vicitms.

International Labor Rights Forum and other labor rights groups are calling for immediate action from international corporations and brands.  “We need the brands to make significant changes in how they monitor their suppliers and to make a meaningful commitment to worker safety,” said Judy Gearhart, Executive Director of the ILRF.  The Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, a binding agreement that has been endorsed by two global brands, would create rigorous inspections, transparency and oversight and ensure that workers and their organizations are an integral part of the solution.  read more.
ilrf

* Bangladesh accidents represent a failure of brands to make safety a priority:

Rescuers in Bangladesh on Thursday hunted for survivors in a collapsed building as the death toll rose to 152 and criticism mounted of foreign firms that source cheap clothes from the country.

More than 1,000 people were injured when the site housing a number of garment factories on the outskirts of Dhaka imploded on Wednesday, allegedly after managers ignored workers’ warnings that the building had become unstable.

Flags flew at half-mast as the shell-shocked country declared a day of mourning for the victims of the country’s worst factory disaster, which highlighted anew safety concerns in Bangladesh’s vital garment industry.

“The death toll is now 152,” said Wali Asraf, a senior police officer in the disaster control room, adding that rescue workers could still hear screams coming from the wreckage about 24 hours after the building collapsed.
(…)
Last November, a blaze at a factory making apparel for Walmart and other
Western labels in Dhaka left 111 people dead, with survivors describinghow fire exits were kept locked by site managers.
Tessel Pauli, a spokeswoman for the Amsterdam-based Clean Clothes Campaign, said the latest disaster was “symptomatic” of problems in Bangladesh where foreign buyers are accused of jeopardising safety in their search for profit.
“These accidents represent a failure of these brands to make safety a priority.
They know what needs to be done and they are not doing it,” Pauli told AFP.
read more.

* Bangladesh Factory Disaster: Workers Made Clothes for Benetton, Primark and Dress Barn:

Hundreds of workers are still feared missing in the Dhaka building collapse, as it emerged that the garment factories which occupied many of its floors made clothes for some of the biggest retail chains in the US and Europe.

Among the businesses in the building were Phantom Apparels, New Wave Style, New Wave Bottoms and New Wave Brothers, which make clothing for worldwide brands including Benetton, The Children’s Place and Dress Barn. The Telegraph reported that factories there also produced fashion lines for British high street names such as Primark, Matalan and Bonmarche.
(…)

Widespread problem
According to Liana Foxvog, of the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), the collapse eerily echoes the Spectrum factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2005, in which 64 people were killed and 80 were injured. Garment factories in Bangladesh, the world’s biggest exporter of clothing after China, are often located in unsafe buildings originally constructed for residential or commercial purposes.

Thousands of workers and residents were believed to be inside Rana Plaza when it collapsed. Many of the dead were women and there are fears that children left in creches will be added to the mounting death toll.  read more.International Business Times UK

* So near yet so far:

Rescuers continue frantic effort to bring out those trapped inside the rubble of the Savar building that caved in Wednesday. Star photo.Rescuers continue frantic effort to bring out those trapped inside the rubble of the Savar building that caved in Wednesday. Star photo.

While there are many survivors hurt or squeezed between wrecks of the nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar, rescuers are unable to speed up their operation due to precarious situations of the survivors.

For instance and unnamed girl was rescued from the building at around 11:50 by cutting her hand that was trapped under the wreck. She was rushed to the hospital by rescue workers.
Survivors like her are still voicing out for help amid an unbreathable environment of stench of dead bodies, dust and darkness.
“My name is Aftab. A pillar has fallen over me. Please some one save me. Cut my hands to free me,” said a survivor to The Daily Star correspondent at 11:10 am.
Aftab is an operator of New Wave Garments now trapped inside the meshed up seventh floor. His silhouette is visible through the wreckage. But it was very difficult to reach him. read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers burst into protest in Dhaka:

Thousands of workers of many garment factories in different parts of the capital took to the streets Thursday to protest the deaths in Savar building collapse the previous day.

The aggrieved workers demonstrated in Karwan Bazar, Khilgaon, Rampura areas.
Around 100 workers of several garments factories including Cambridge, Alauddin and Goldstar garment factories on the Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue suddenly rushed out to the VIP road before the noon, halting traffic on the busy road.
They chanted slogans blocking the road.
Arif-ur Rahman, merchandising manager of Alauddin garments, said they kept the operation running because they had no instruction to close the factory neither from BGMEA nor the owner.
Meantime, a group of aggrieved people entered the Karwan Bazar underpass and vandalised the television and some photo frames hung on the wall there.
On duty security guard told The Daily Star that the group rushed in, vandalised and ran away before police could reach the spot.  to read.
daily star bd

* RMG workers stage demo in city:

Workers of several garment factories on Thursday staged demonstration on different roads of the city demanding security of their lives and a holiday for the day as a mark of condolence for those who lost lives in Rana Plaza collapse.

Witnesses said several thousand workers from a few garment factories of Rampur brought out procession on the Rampura –Malibagh road at about 10.00 am, suspending traffic in the area for quite some time.  read more. & read more.

   wf-escenic-times

* RMG workers clash with cops; cordon off BGMEA building:

Hundreds of readymade garment workers on Thursday cordoned off the BGMEA Bhaban in the city and clashed with cops apart from ransacking the windowpanes of a number of roadside buildings. 

The RMG workers from various factories took to the streets as the authorities did not suspend production in the factories today although Thursday was earlier announced as the national mourning day.

Hundreds of workers of Rampura and Badda areas marched towards the BGMEA Bhaban around 11:30 am with sticks and iron-rods and laid a siege to the BGMEA Bhaban.   read more.

* Saving life top priority: PM:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the government’s top priority is to save lives trapped under the rubble of the shattered building in Savar rather than detaining those responsible for the tragedy.

She was talking to a delegation of Awami League Tangail district unit at her official residence Gono Bhaban in the capital around 11:15am.

The premier and the delegation members observed a one-minute silence in memory of those killed in the collapse.  read more.  & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  BSS  wf-escenic-times

* 1500 rescued from Savar building debris:

Around 1500 people were rescued till 10:00am Thursday and hundreds others are still trapped under the Savar building`s debris.

Army, Navy, Fire Service, Ansar, RAB, Police and locals were conducting the rescue mission and it may need two or three more days to end, said sources.
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Produce Rana Plaza owner, MDs, chairmen of 6 factories on Apr 30: HC:

The High Court on Thursday directed the owner of Rana Plaza, Sohel Rana, and the managing directors and chairmen of six RMG factories housed in the building to appear before it on April 30.

A High Court Division Bench comprising Justice Mirza Husain Haidar and Justice Mohammad Khurshid Alam passed the order following a suo moto move.
The HC directed the officer-in-charge of Savar thana to produce them before the court on April 30 at 10:30 am and also directed the Superintendent of Police of Dhaka to ensure their presence.

The court also issued a rule upon the government to explain why those who were involved in the Savar tragedy would not be identified and why exemplary punishments against those would not be ensured.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
  wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo daily star bd

* Bosses ignored building cracks in Bangladesh factory collapse:

At least 100 workers were killed and more than 600 people were injured when an eight-story commercial building collapsed in Bangladesh on Wednesday morning.

Photo caption: People and rescuers gather after an eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh on Wednesday, 24 April (AP Photo/ AM Ahad)

Hundreds of people remain trapped in the rubble of the Rana Plaza building complex in the Dhaka suburb of Savar – 19 miles away from the Bangladeshi capital.
According to the Reuters news agency, the complex housed five garment factories employing as many as 5000 workers.
This includes the New Wave factory, which supplies clothes to major global retailers such as Mango, Primark and Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws.  read more.

* Rana Plaza Collapse: Death toll now stands at 218:

The death from the horrific building crash in Savar climbed to 218 with the recovery of more bodies on Thursday, as many more are still believed to have remained trapped.

Dhaka DB officer-in-charge Wahiduzzaman said the rescuers pulled out 218 bodies so far from the debris of the building that crashed on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, IGP Hasan Mahmud Khandker said two industrial police constables — Rafiq and ASI Mukul — remained missing since the tragic incident.
So far, 1,516 people were rescued from the rubbles of the building till filing of this report around 6pm.
Rescuers feared that the number of victims would go up further as many are still remained trapped under the debris.  read more.

* ‘Savar tragedy calls for politicians’ attention’:

Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), an alliance comprising right based NGOs, labour and farmers organization, today expressed grave concern over the Savar building collapse.

In a statement, they termed the incident as a dreadful example of governance with little accountability which demanded immediate “attention of politicians” irrespective of parties to avoid such a tragic incident.
It said that it is the country’s confrontational politics, in fact, which is paving the growth of some irresponsible bourgeois causing the death of innocent people.
read more.
BSS

* Those responsible for Savar tragedy to be brought to justice: MKA:

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Thursday categorically said those responsible for the Savar tragedy will be brought to justice.

“Those responsible will be put on trial, no matter which party they belong to or whose relatives they are. He may be Rana or any party member and anyone’s relatives, stern legal action will be taken against those for their offences after arresting them on the basis of investigation report,” he told a press briefing at his ministry.

The minister said a case was filed in this connection and the owner of the building, Rana, has been made an accused in it.  read more.

* FBCCI for punishment to perpetrators of Savar tragedy:

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) today called upon the government to give exemplary punishment to the persons responsible for the Savar building collapse tragedy.

The call came at an emergency board meeting of the apex trade body at the federation bhaban here, said a release.
During the meeting, the board members unanimously postponed tomorrow’s (Friday) business conference in a show of sympathy to the victims of Savar building collapse.  read more.
BSS

* Rana Plaza Collapse: Citizens demand punishment of RMG factory owners:

Citizens on Thursday staged protests at different parts of the city demanding stern actions against the RMG factory owners and others for the killing of readymade workers in the Rana Plaza collapse incident.

Hundreds of citizens joined a protest rally arranged by Battala, a theatre organisation, at Manik Mian Avenue around 3:00pm.
After the rally, they marched towards BGMEA Bhaban and took position in front of it till 6:30pm.
Another rally was arranged under the banner of ‘Students-Teachers-Professionals-Journalists’ on the foot of Razu Monument at Dhaka University at about 4:30pm. This rally also marched towards the BGMEA Bhaban.
Organisers of both the platforms demanded immediate arrest of those responsible for the building collapse at Savar.  read more.

* Bangladesh building tragedy down to West’s cost squeeze -NGOs:

Major western clothing retailers squeezing Asian suppliers and a flawed approach to ensuring even basic working standards are fuelling conditions for tragedies like the latest factory collapse in Bangladesh, NGOs said on Thursday.

At least 187, mainly female workers, were killed and over 1,000 injured when the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory building in Savar, 30 kilometres (20 miles) outside the capital Dhaka, collapsed on Wednesday.

“What we’re saying is that bargain-basement (clothing) is automatically leading towards these types of disasters,” John Hilary, executive director at British charity War on Want, told Reuters.  read more.
reuters

* ‘Rescue work to continue for 72 hrs’:

Rescue operation at the Rana Plaza collapse site in Savar will continue until Saturday before the process to remove the wreckage begins.

Fire Service and Civil Defence Director Mohammad Zahidul Islam said this on Thursday afternoon after over 33 hours since the rescue drive began as the commercial building came crushing down with heaps of concrete and steel on Wednesday.
He said at least 24 more people were rescued alive from the site in the noon.
read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Hundreds of Bangladeshi garment workers die:

The worst ever industrial accident in Bangladesh has killed more than 200 garment workers with fears of a final death toll reaching 1,000 as hundreds remain injured and trapped in the debris.

“Cut off my hand, save my life!” screams a woman trapped under the collapsed eight-story Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 kilometres outside Dhaka.

The same request is shouted by trapped Aftab, while other screams in the rubble demand oxygen. 200,000 local people have assembled in Savar offering to donate blood to the rescue effort, as hospitals are gravely under supplied.
The mass industrial manslaughter occurred at 9am, 24 April. The collapsed building, illegally constructed, contained five garment factories with 2,500 workers.
Those five factories are Ether Tex, New Wave Bottoms, New Wave Style, Phantom Apparels and Phantom-TAC.
These factories are believed to have produced for several well-known western brands including Mango, Primark, C&A, KIK, Wal-Mart, Children’s Place, Cato Fashions, Benetton, Matalan and Bon Marché.
read more.
Home

* 24 rescued in a group:

Rescuers relentlessly look for survivors amidst the debris Thursday afternoon. At least 243 people have so far been found dead after a building collapsed in Savar on Wednesday. Photo: Anisur Rahman

Rescuers have brought out a group of 24 people from a place inside the debris around 35 hours after a building collapsed in Savar.

Rescuers found the people alive at a place in between the first and third floor and rescued them around 8:15pm, Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence, told The Daily Star.
At least 243 people have so far been found dead and over 1,500 others admitted to different hospitals with injuries.  to read.
daily star bd

* Savar deaths hit 255:

In the worst case of building collapse in the country, rescuers have so far pulled alive more than 2,000 people out of the debris of the Rana Plaza in Savar where the death toll has swelled to 255.

Fire Service and Civil Defence’s Director General Ali Ahmed Khan said the nine-storey building near the Savar Bus Stand had more than 3,000 people working in five readymade garment factories on Wednesday morning when it came crushing down with heaps of concrete and steel.
Neither Khan nor other rescuers could confirm the number of people still trapped inside the building.

A temporary control room has been set up near the Savar Bus Stand to provide the distraught families with information. “Two-hundred and fifty dead bodies have been pulled out until 9:35pm (Thursday),” Savar district Superintendent of Police Faruk Khan said.  read more. & read more.& read more.  & read more.  & read more.
wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo newstodayBD  

* Fire at wrecked Rana Plaza:

A fire broke out on the wreckage of the collapsed building– Rana Plaza, Savar, at 10:35pm on Thursday night.

Fire service director Major Mahbub confirmed the matter to banglanews.
Spot account said the fire originated at the sixth floor of the wrecked building when someone tried to pour petrol in a generator, used in rescue mission.
Three fire fighting units were trying to douse the fire.  to read.
banglanews24 Logo

* Govt, BNP trade charges over Savar tragedy:

The government and opposition BNP on Thursday blamed each other for the building collapse in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka a day earlier.

Home minister MK Alamgir claimed that a huge number of picketers had attacked the building during the opposition-called hartal, resulting in the collapse of the multi-storied building. “We are probing the matter and action would be taken after getting the investigation report,” the home minister told reporters in the Secretariat.

BNP standing committee member MK Anwar, however, alleged that the tragedy was a government plot and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should be brought to book for the fatal incident. “Incidents of building collapse are frequently taking place in the country. This is because of the nexus between ruling party leaders and dubious construction firms. Sheikh Hasina must own up responsibility for these tragic incidents and she should be tried for the deaths,” Anwar said.  read more.

logo

_____

MORE RELATED NEWS:

* RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur, Narayanganj:

Factory, vehicles vandalised; highways blocked; several units in Gazipur declared leave for today

The workers of ready made garment (RMG) factories in Gazipur and Narayanganj on Thursday blocked four highways and resorted to vandalism protesting the death of their fellows in Savar building collapse. to read.
daily star bd

* Cracks in RMG unit bldg prompt evacuation:

All the workers were evacuated from three garment factories after a six-storey building in the capital’s Mohammadpur bus stand area developed cracks on Thursday.

Inspector (investigation) Mahbubur Rahman of Mohammadpur thana said workers of World Victory, Fashion Limited and Trade Sweater located in Sat Masjid Super Market at Block-D in Mohammadpur bus stand area spotted cracks on the 2nd floor of the building that houses the garment units when they were to attend work at about 7.15 am and informed police.
Law enforcers in consultation with the authorities evacuated the building at the earliest possible time.
Later, management of the garment factories announced holiday.
to read. & read more.

  BSS

* Cracks in another commercial building in Mohammadpur:

Over 5,000 garment workers were evacuated from a six-storey building in Mohammadpur of the capital Thursday morning after cracks developed in it.

The evacuation comes a day after cracks led to the collapse of a nine-storey building in Savar, leaving at least 175 people were killed and over 1,200 injured. The building “Rana Plaza” housed five garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping centre.
Panic griped the workers as they noticed cracks around 7:30am at a pillar on the second-floor of the building, housing three garment factories and several shops, said Azizul Haque, officer-in-charge (OC) of Mohammadpur Police Station.
On information police rushed to the spot and kept the building cordoning off.
Officials of Fire Service and Civil Defence and Dhaka City Corporation reached the scene and were scrutinising whether the building posed any risk when this report was filed around 11:30am, the OC added.  to read.
daily star bd

* All garments in Ashulia closed:

The authorities of the readymade garments in Ashulia, Savar closed their factories amid protest of the workers on Thursday.

The agitated workers staged demonstrations as Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) was still on production.
Earlier in the day, thousands of workers came to the street from Ashulia to Bailpail demanding vacation to mourn the deaths of building collapse and arrest of the building owner Rana.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Workers protest in Dhaka over factory deaths:

Thousands of garment factory workers have protested in the capital, Dhaka, over the death of about 200 workers in building collapse, as rescuers continued to hunt for survivors, local media have reported.

Al Jazeera’s special correspondent, whom we are not naming for security reasons, said on Thursday that thousands of protesters took to the streets of Dhaka with sticks in their hands chanting slogans such as “we want execution of the garment factory owners”.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association building office has been attacked, our correspondent said.   read & see more-Video.
aljazeera

* Savar tragedy to cast shadow on Bangladesh brand, GSP: Experts:

The deadly Savar building collapse, the worst-ever tragedy in the RMG sector, has put the industry at a fresh risk as it is likely to have a negative impact on the global market apart from tarnishing the image of Bangladesh brand. 

The apparel sector’s leaders and experts think Bangladesh might face fresh questions on safety and security issues of the workers due to the recent incident that claimed 190 lives so far but still hopeful of retaining duty-free benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in the US market.

“Obviously, workplace security and safety is an important issue… there’ll be a negative impact (on GSP retention),” Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Prof Mustafizur Rahman told UNB on Thursday.   read more.

* Savar tragedy to have impact on GSP decision: Mozena:

US Ambassador Dan Mozena on Thursday said the incident of Savar building collapse will have an impact on the decision of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) hearing.

“It certainly makes the environment of the workplace safety questionable. I’m sure it’ll have that impact,” the US envoy said responding to a question whether the Savar incident will affect the continuation of GSP facility for Bangladesh.
He was talking to journalists after a function on youth environmental initiatives in the city.
Mozena said the loss of lives in large numbers will raise new questions on safety measures in workplaces. “…but my efforts will be to convey that to those who are making this decisions of good understanding of the progress Bangladesh has made in addressing the issues raised in the GSP petition.”
read more. & read more.& read more.  & read more.
  daily star bd   

* 5 companies stripped of BGMEA membership:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Thursday suspended the membership of five companies located in Rana Plaza that collapsed Wednesday.

Suspension or cancellation of a membership means a garment factory would not do any kind of apparel export and import of raw materials, as the BGMEA would not provide any utilisation declaration (UD) to the company.
The garment manufacturers would not also receive any service from the BGMEA, a platform of the owners.The factories are: Ether Tex, New Wave Bottoms, New Wave Style, Phantom Apparels and Phantom Tac.
The BGMEA also announced to give Tk 1 lakh to each family of the victims who died in the building collapse. “We have suspended the membership and all activities of the factories, as these remained open despite a shutdown instruction from the BGMEA,” said Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, vice-president (Finance) of the BGMEA.
read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd     banglanews24 Logo

* Savar UNO to face action: MKA:

Home Minister MK Alamgir has said legal action would be taken against the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Savar for his unauthorised certification of building’s position that collapsed Wednesday.

Addressing a press briefing at the ministry, he also said the name of the UNO — Kabir Hossain — had been dropped from the five-member probe committee formed to probe the collapse that killed 243 people and left many still trapped in the rubble.
The announcement came hot on the heels of the State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian’s demand for dropping Kabir’s name from the committee.
During a visit to the building a day before it collapsed, Kabir told journalists there would be no hazard of collapse, reported Bangla daily Prothom Alo.  to read.
daily star bd

* Labels Unraveled From The Rubbles – Accountability Awaits:

As the number of death increase towards a harrowing 250 mark and moves above, the stench of rotting flesh and blood is filling the air, the wailing doesn’t stop and stories of horror are echoing across Bangladesh and throughout the globe.

We at RISE Society have been busy in the site and the hospital distrubuting whatever help we can to the rescue effort, while standing beside our brothers and sisters to inform them to hold their identities together AS THEY MUST NOT LOOSE IT among the carnage as sadly often happens – leaving them lost in the aftermath of such tragedies, often even to save a little money from the rich or a load of guilt less for the guilty of such crimes.

Amidst this horror, within the rubble lay the labels of brands which had been getting their fashion outfits manufactured in a factory with cracks developing and 2 illegal stories rising on top. We feel its only fare that some of their labels be displayed to the people who are also their consumers.

While the collection from the rubble is not exhaustive, however they do show the diversity of buyers who had been sourcing from such crumbling towers of torture. We hope they come forward to help the victims within what is their supply chain as well. We hope to see solidarity!   read more.

* 100 RMG workers were injured in clashes in Savar:

About 100 readymade garment workers were injured in clashes with law enforcers and stampedes in Savar and Ashulia, outskirts of the capital, on Thursday.

Angered at delay over the rescue operation following the collapse of Rana Plaza, workers from different factories blocked different roads in Savar and Ashulia and vandalised about 40 vehicles in the morning.
They also vandalised 50 garment factories.
Witnesses said about 55 workers were injured in clashes with police as the law enforcers tried to bring the situation under control.
Meanwhile, all the garment factories in Savar, Ashulia and DEPZ were declared closed for the day by their authorities following the labour unrest. read more.

* Huge responsibility for Western buyers:

Chaos is everywhere. Security cannot keep the masses away.

Volunteers, sticks in their hand, continuously make space free for another ambulance. They are more than thousand, the rescuers of the first hour.
In a heat of more than thirty degrees, between debris and dust, helped with an electric torch, a piece of rope and with bare hands they go to attack the large concrete blocks: looking for survivors. In the building limbs are amputated to save lives. This is unrealistic; this is super human.

In this chaos, I also discover panic orrage because so many innocent workers are still in the rubble of the collapsed building.
Or impotence as they cannot quick release everyone who is still under the debris.
Or a mix of all that.

Also, on my way to the site of the disaster, I had already noticed it. Here en there young people armed with sticks were blocking the junctions. Elsewhere I see groups of people marching towards Savar, fierce because once again colleagues were dying in unsafe working conditions. The fire in the Tazreen factory last November is still
fresh in the memory.
I share this anger of the local people. I feel powerless, I feel rebellion.
Never lessons are learnt? There are too many similarities to similar disasters in 2005(Spectrum), 2006(Tejgaon), 2010(Begunbari) and 2012(Tazreen).
Buildings, even not so old,do not meet the building codes.

Extra floors are added without authorization, but the basic construction cannot bear the weight. And what makes me most angry is that workers are forced to continue to work in angerous conditions.
Last Tuesday afternoon the affected building had been evacuated because of sudden cracks and creaks.
Experts were called and workers were released to go home.. But the next day they had to return to work. Forced, otherwise they wouldlose their job.
Frightened, many hundreds are pushed into death.
I feel outraged because this tragedy could be avoided.

But if the workers raise their voices and wish to be organised for better and safer working conditions, they are dismissed or put on a blacklist so they even cannot find a job elsewhere.

Stand up for your rights in the clothing sector you cannot do unpunished.
Trade union work is dangerous: last year a garment union leader even was killed. Human lives are of no importance. It is as if victims are unfortunate part of the game, considered as so-called collateral damage of the economic system.
A today’s Bengali newspaper truly analyses that this is not a tragedy, but murder.
What did these young people wrong so they should pay for it with their young lives? Many of them are weak educated, or even illiterate sometimes, and they came to

the city from the countryside, looking for an income to improve their living standards. Is there something wrong with that? Looking for an income, they only found death.
Of course violations in building constructions should be punished.
Of course employers cannot longer consider their workers as profit making tools.
Of course, trade union work in the Bengali garment sector should be made possible.
But also Western companies have an overwhelming responsibility.
The clothing brands place orders and impose penalties if an order is not ready in time.
As consumers, we can force them to sign the “Bangladesh Fireand Building Safety Agreement”.

By participating in activities of the Clean Clothes Campaign.
This agreement – developed by Bengali and international trade unions – includes independent factory inspections, mandatory building improvements and improved safety measures.
Two foreign companies have already signed. What other clothing brands are
waiting for to join? How many workers still need to die?

Jef Van Hecken,  based in Dhaka for WSM – World Solidarity, a Belgian based ngo focusing labour rights and social protection Dhaka, 25 April 2013

WSM

++++++

20130426

 

*   “Stop the killing, act now”:

Clean Clothes Campaign urges brands to sign Safety Agreement

Clean Clothes Campaign is sickened by the preventable collapse of Rana Plaza and condemns  brands for their failure to prevent such heavy loss of life once again. Brands must now must come forward, ensure emergency steps are taken and pay without delay into a compensation fund for the victims and their families. They must also commit to prevent future disasters.

The total compensation figure is likely to be over US$30 million in addition to the cost of emergency treatment. The death toll, already over 300, seems likely to increase dramatically as media reports indicate that 1000 people are still unaccounted for. Our local partners have expressed concern that mismanagement and incorrect accounting by the authorities means that some deaths are not being recorded on the list of deceased.

The CCC is contacting all brands whose names are linked to one of the five factories that were producing in the building  to verify details of their production.
Five brands have confirmed current or recent production: Bon Marche (UK), El Corte Ingles (Spain), Primark (UK/Ireland), Mango (Spain) and Joe Fresh (clothing line at Loblaw’s, Canada’s largest supermarket chain).

A number of other brands are linked to the factory through import data, labels  and other documentation found at the site by local activists of other brands producing in one of the factories, including Benetton (Italy), Cato Fashions (USA), Children’s Place (USA), Carrefour (France).  So far all deny production or failed to respond.
The CCC calls on all buyers to step forward immediately and to make sure that every effort is taken to minimise the pain and suffering of the people involved and prevent further deaths.  read more.
CCC

* Make garment factories in Bangladesh safe:

 Nearly 5,000 workers protested in Dhaka on 26 April expressing outrage at the death to hundreds and injury to thousands of garment workers in the Rana Plaza building collapse.

You can join the protest online here.
Join the campaign and add your voice of protest on the LabourStart campaign calling to make garment factories in Bangladesh safe here: http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1813

The protest in Dhaka was in response to the worst ever industrial accident in Bangladesh where already more than 300 workers have died, thousands are injured and many more remain trapped and unaccounted for in the rubble of the collapsed 8 story building.

Roy Ramesh, IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) General Secretary, presiding over the protest in Dhaka, demanded the severest punishment under the law, including the death penalty, to all those responsible for the mass murder and injury of the workers.
“No words can describe the horror of the criminal action of the manufacturers, brands, employers’ groups BGMEA and BKMEA, and the regulatory authorities for their greed for profit, at the cost of precious human lives, injuries and misery to thousands,” said Ramesh.  read more.
Home

* Govt, BNP trade charges over Savar tragedy:

The government and opposition BNP on Thursday blamed each other for the building collapse in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka a day earlier.

Home minister MK Alamgir claimed that a huge number of picketers had attacked the building during the opposition-called hartal, resulting in the collapse of the multi-storied building. “We are probing the matter and action would be taken after getting the investigation report,” the home minister told reporters in the Secretariat.

BNP standing committee member MK Anwar, however, alleged that the tragedy was a government plot and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should be brought to book for the fatal incident. “Incidents of building collapse are frequently taking place in the country. This is because of the nexus between ruling party leaders and dubious construction firms. Sheikh Hasina must own up responsibility for these tragic incidents and she should be tried for the deaths,” Anwar said.  read more.
logo

* 40 found alive in single room:

In a dramatic rescue drive forty people have been found alive in a single room in the ruins of the Rana Plaza at Savar on Thursday.

It is thought many more people may still be unaccounted for and waiting for rescue. This find of the trapped persons have also encouraged the rescuers to continue the operations.
Rescue teams have been frantically searching for survivors as they
are aware that they are racing against time.
The heat and the dust could take its own toll. The broken concrete blocks are precariously placed and there are concerns for rescue workers as well.
When more people are pulled out alive, that gives lots of encouragement to the rescue workers, many of whom are local volunteers.
The collapse has already triggered anger among garment factory workers who were holding protests in some places in Dhaka. Garment factory owners and Western retailers are likely to face tough questions from labour rights campaigners in the coming weeks.  to read.
Logo

* Trapped victims still screaming:

265 bodies recovered: 170 handed over to relatives, 2000 found injured: Water, oxygen need of the hour: 1000 trained Armymen join rescue operation: says GOC

While many survivors either hurt or squeezed remained stuck up in the rubbles of the nine-storey Rana Plaza at Savar, rescuers are unable to speed up operation for safety of the survivors in trap.

So far 265 bodies have been recovered and over two thousand  injured removed from the rubbles to safety up to evening of Thursday while rescue efforts continued overnight to save the last surviving person or recover the body of the last fallen worker.
Rescuers said they hear screams of the trapped persons in the rubbles of the eight-story building. They were shouting for help, water and oxygen. Thousands of people thronged the scene after the disaster. Many of them were in tears without having any clue where to look for their loved ones.
Wali Ashraf Khan, an inspector of Detective Branch of police who is working in corpse management control room told The New Nation yesterday that a total of 126 bodies were pulled out of the debris alone yesterday.
So far 170 have been handed over to their relatives for burial.  read more.Logo

* Hopes not over yet:

24 rescued together 34 hours into collapse; rescue goes on with no break

Altaf Hossain raised his arm and pleaded the photographer to lift the pillar on his back just a little so that he could slip out and live. Unable to bear the pain he was in, he couldn't speak anymore. He was yesterday found in the rear end of Rana Plaza, which is just rubbles at Bazar bus stand in Savar. Photo: Amran HossainAltaf Hossain raised his arm and pleaded the photographer to lift the pillar on his back just a little so that he could slip out and live. Unable to bear the pain he was in, he couldn’t speak anymore. He was yesterday found in the rear end of Rana Plaza, which is just rubbles at Bazar bus stand in Savar. Photo: Amran Hossain

Around 34 hours after the collapse of Rana Plaza, 24 trapped people were rescued alive from the rubble of the nine-storey building yesterday evening, keeping alive the hope that more lives can be saved as the rescue operation continues.

The death toll in the tragic building collapse rose to 250 as of 10:00pm yesterday, as 108 more bodies were dug out throughout the day. Of the victims, 142 have been handed over to their relatives, police and district administration officials said.
So far some 1,400 survivors were pulled out with about 1,000 more are believed to be still trapped inside.
Rescue workers are making frantic efforts to save more lives. But they are facing difficulties to speed up the operation due to the precarious situation the survivors are in. Shortage of equipment is also slowing down their efforts.  read more.
daily star bd

* It breaks every heart:

The air of Savar Adharchandra High School is heavy with the stench of corpses and despair of family members searching for their loved ones from the row of decomposing bodies.

As an ambulance enters the school ground, everyone rushes towards it with photographs in their hands. Some make queries in hushed tones while others scream anticipating the worst.
After more than 30 hours of frantic searches, they desperately seek answers as to what happened to the workers who were inside the building when it collapsed.
Towards the afternoon, to control the chaos caused by anxious relatives, the authority urges them to form a line. One by one, they inch towards the corpses, some praying, some crying and some too traumatised to betray anything.
read more.
daily star bd

* Back from the death:

Sofura tells her harrowing ordeal of 27 hours

It was not pain but fear that was killing her during the time she was stuck in the mangled wreckage of the nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar.

At the time of the collapse on Wednesday, Sofura Begum was working at Phantom Apparel on the third floor. All of a sudden the rooftop caved in, carrying her along to the second floor where she remained sandwiched for the next 27 hours in rubble.
Sofura, a divorcee and mother of two children, was speaking of her horrifying experience to The Daily Star as she lay on a bed at Enam Medical College Hospital, Savar, yesterday.
She had not blacked out even for a moment before she was rescued around 11:00am. Trapped under a sewing machine and pressed against a concrete wall on the other side, she could only move her eyelids in futile attempts to see in the dark.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rana Plaza death toll reaches 256; many ‘still alive’:

The human tragedy continued to unfold at the scene of the disaster at Rana Plaza as more bodies were recovered from the collapsed building on Thursday, raising the death toll to 256 while many more are still believed to have remained trapped alive in the rubble.

There are still several hundred people alive therein, but it is difficult to exactly say how many, survivors told reporters at the scene on Thursday night.
Officer-in-charge of Dhaka district Detective Branch of police Wahiduzzaman said 256 bodies were recovered so far from the debris of the building that crashed on Wednesday morning. Of the bodies, 206 were handed over to their families, he said.
Wahiduzzaman said more people might still be trapped alive inside the collapsed building. But, he did not give the exact figure of such victims.   read more.

* PM urges all to pray for Savar victims Friday:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged the people of the country to pray after Jum’a prayers on Friday in all mosques for the Savar tragedy victims. 

The Prime Minister also called for similar prayers in other worship places seeking salvation of the departed souls and early recovery of those injured in the incident, PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told UNB.
to read.  & read more.
  BSS

MORE RELATED NEWS:

* RMG workers protest Savar tragedy:

Thousands of readymade garment (RMG) workers of different factories on Thursday took to the street, demanding punishment of those responsible for the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar.

Workers of different factories in Tongi, Boarbazar, Konabari and Joydebpur Chowrasta blocked the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, Dhaka-Tangail highway and Dhaka-Gazipur Road, reports our Gazipur correspondent. Thousands of workers from Diganta Sweater Factory, Star Light Sweaters Limited, Nexus Sweaters, Garib and Garib Sweaters and Maisha-Monisha Garment Factory brought out a procession in Joydebpur Chowrasta around 9.30 in the morning.
read more.
logo

* Task Force must check fitness of RMG factories:

Labour leaders have said Savar and Ashulia area in the outskirt of the city has turned into a ‘valley of death’ for garment workers. It must be declared a ‘danger zone’ and quick initiative should be taken to check the fitness of all buildings housing the garment factories to stop recurrence of building collapse and further deaths.

The industry should also strengthen the fire fighting capacity and other compliance measures to save the industry; which is already poised to collapse from domestic and external pressures, the sources further said.

One labour leader taking part in a TV talk show said Savar and Ashulia has turned into an industrial zone from low land and much of it was marshy land under deep water. These were slowly developed and later buildings were constructed to house garment factories.

Most such buildings are properties built on land either snatched by the influential political persons party from the poor and the minority such as the land on which Rana Plaza was built by its owner. They wanted to become quick rich and hastily built multi-story building on such land without strong foundation.  read more.Logo

* Garment units attacked:

Garment workers go berserk in front of BGMEA Bhaban in the capital, as the authorities did not declare yesterday a holiday to mourn the victims of the Savar tragedy. Yesterday was declared a day of national mourning. Photo: Star

Garment workers go berserk in front of BGMEA Bhaban in the capital, as the authorities did not declare yesterday a holiday to mourn the victims of the Savar tragedy. Yesterday was declared a day of national mourning. Photo: Star

Country’s garment sector has been dealt yet another blow, as most factory owners suspended production yesterday fearing a massive labour unrest over the tragic deaths of more than 200 workers at Rana Plaza.

With the sector struggling to recover the losses owing to frequent hartals, a further suspension of production will put a huge pressure on the garment business, said industry insiders.
The sector loses around Tk 200 crore each hartal day owing to disruption in production, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.  read more.
daily star bd

* Savar tragedy triggers outcry worldwide:

Collapse of the eight-storeyed Rana Plaza that housed five garment factories and other business outlets at Savar has again sparked uproar across the world bringing into sharp focus the safety measures for workers.

This is likely to affect exports of ready-made garments (RMG).
The American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS) said the frequent disasters like fire incidents and building collapse in Bangladesh were due to institutional failures of the government.
ACILS Asia Department’s Director Timothy Ryan told the Business Insider that the unsafe factory conditions in Bangladesh stem from an ‘institutional failure of the government.’  read more.

* Savar tragedy set to create adverse impact on RMG, fear industry leaders:

The deadliest Savar tragedy will create an adverse impact afresh on the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry, insiders and experts have warned.

Wednesday’s collapse of a multi-storeyed building at Savar that has already left more than 200 people most of them garment workers dead and several hundred others injured, has drawn extensive international media attention.

According to experts and the industry insiders, the building collapse took place at a time when the RMG industry is facing growing pressure for compliance of various safety-related issues and trade union facility following devastating Tazreen factory fire a few months back. read more.

* Lack of punishment blamed for such incidents:

Frequent incidents like Savar building collapse that so far claimed over two hundred lives of innocent people shocked the country in absence of any exemplary punishment against the people responsible for those deadly incidents.

Some ministers, Attorney General, veteran lawyers, human rights and labour groups made the observation while talking to the FE following the unprecedented Savar Tragedy, which has taken away more than two hundred lives and wounded over a thousand.
They have also said exemplary punishment should be ensured immediately along with the confiscation of assets owned by the owners the Rana Plaza and garments so that others do not dare to push the workers into danger.  read more.

* 4 factories of top BGMEA leaders found structurally flawed:

A BGMEA task force has found that four factory buildings owned by top leaders of the association have flaws in their architectural designs and were constructed in deviations from their original plans and not in compliance with the building code and the labour law.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association formed the task force in early December last year to identify the safety risks at garment factories in the wake of the November 24 Tazreen Fashions inferno that left at least 112 workers dead and several hundreds injured. The task force was scheduled to turn in its report containing the findings and recommendations for correcting the identified flaws by February last.  read more.

* Strike in garment industries likely on Sunday:

A group organisations working in garment workers’ rights are going to call a dawn-to-dusk strike at all apparel factories in the country for Sunday demanding arrest of the owner of Rana Plaza in Savar.

At least 230 people, mostly garment workers, were killed and several hundreds injured as Rana Plaza collapsed on Wednesday.
Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad, a combine of seven garment workers’ rights bodies, Bangladesh Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre led by Mantu Ghosh, and Garment Sramik Oikya Forum led by Mushrefa Mishu have decided to call the strike.
Leaders of the organisations took the decision at a meeting on Thursday at the Garment Sramik Oikya Forum office.  read more.

* End killings of apparel workers:

Rights activists urge govt from demo

A group of rights activists on Thursday called on the government to take effective steps to put an end to repetitive fatal accidents at apparel factories.
‘How many dead bodies will bring the factory owners to book,’ one of them asked the government from a rally held in front of the National Press Club.

Karmojibi Nari organised the rally protesting the illegal and unethical acts leading to the still-rising number of heavy casualties in Wednesday’s collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar.
‘We have failed to learn anything from the Tazreen fire and that is why we are seeing the same misfortune visiting us again and again,’ observed Karmojibi Nari adviser and Jatiya Sramik Jote, Bangladesh president Shirin Akhter in her address to the demonstration.
The owner of Rana Plaza neglected the cracks developed in the eight-storey building the day before the incident and even the authorities concerned ignored the risks, she mentioned. read more.

_____update 11.55h. (LT)____

* Rana Plaza death toll reaches 272; Many still trapped inside:

The death from the horrific building crash in Savar climbed to 272 with the recovery of more bodies on Friday morning, as many more are still believed to have remained trapped.Savar thana SI Saiful Islam said 272 bodies were recovered so far from the debris of the building that crashed on Wednesday morning.Of the bodies, 224 were handed over to their families, he said. Meanwhile, 26 bodies which remained unidentified were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue early Friday.  read more.

* RMG units at Rana Plaza listed global brands as buyers:

The five garment factories that were located at the non-compliant Rana Plaza used to manufacture apparel items for many leading global brands, including the Canadian arm of Wal-Mart.

Ether Tex Ltd, which had its factory on the fifth floor of the building, shows in its website that it produces clothes for Wal-mart and Atlantic Sportswear of Canada, C&A and Kik of Germany, and Libra of the Netherlands, to name a few.
The website of New Wave — whose units New Wave Bottoms and New Wave Style were operating on the second, sixth and seventh floors respectively — lists as its buyers UK’s Matalan and Bon Marche, Italy’s Benetton, Spain’s Mango, and Ireland’s Primark, among others.

Phantom-Tac, which was on the fourth floor, is a 50-50 joint venture with Spain’s Textile Audit Company SL, according to its website. However, its buyers were not listed on the site.
Its sister concern, Phantom Apparels Ltd, too, was sited at the complex, on the third floor. The list of its buyers also could not be found.  read more.
daily star bd

* Playing with people’s lives:

When the government administration fails continuously to act to establish the rule of law, the rule of crooked individuals starts consolidating.

Politicians belonging to the party in power and a section of government officials establish their own rule and play with people’s lives to amass money and assets. And for their unbridled greed, people are to pay heavily; in many cases they are denied their right to life.
The Savar tragedy has been one of the glaring examples of it in recent history, demonstrating the very poor state of the rule of law in the country.
A ruling party man had built the nine-storied building without following building construction laws. Reportedly, he even grabbed the land on which he had built the Rana Plaza, which is now a mountain of debris, having killed more than 200 garment workers.  read more.
daily star bd

* Born under ravages! :

Two mothers have given birth to two babies on the 3rd floor of the collapsed ‘Rana Plaza’ of Savar, said one of the rescue workers Shujon.

Both the mothers and children are in safe condition.
Shujon told banglanews, “From 11 pm of Wednesday night to 7 am of Thursday morning, I have seen around 500 dead and alive persons.
Shujon came from Kamrangirchar, an adjacent area of Savar, to search one of his friends who used to work in a garments factory at the third floor of Rana Plaza after hearing the news of building collapse.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Deadlines more valuable than a thousand lives – new labels excavated:

Can a deadline be more valuable than a thousand lives? The garment owners of the Rana Plaza building tried their best to cling on to their belief that deadlines are indeed more important in the corporate world than human lives are. However, these dead workers and their rotting corpses filling the air with the depressing news of rotting human dignity is creating an army of the awake to burn through this decadent system of oppression.

Below are some more labels found from the site, and beside it lay the dead bodies of those who were stitching it for a few dollars that would eventually not even buy them a full meal 30 days a month.

Labels from Savar Tragedy Site6

The early news today comes in the form of some steps taken by the BGMEA to inform the victims and give them initial aide. The nearby factories refused to supply with flash lights and support which has appalled the nation, they even tried to force their workers to work and not take part in the rescue effort which has been retaliated by the workers and strikes were held across the nation’s several garments.
read more.

* RMG workers stage demonstration in city:

Several thousand garment workers stage demonstration in the capital Friday morning protesting the death of fellow workers in a disastrous building collapse and demanding punishment to the responsible garment factory owners.

Instead of joining their workplace hundreds of garment workers of Malibagh, Rampura, Mirpur, Sheorapara and Kazipara areas took to the streets and staged demonstrations at 8 am.
Vehicular movement from Mirpur 10 to Agargaon crossing was suspended in the morning due to their demonstration.
The agitated workers also vandalised a number of vehicles plying on the streets.
They also chanted slogans demanding safety in their workplace.
to read. & read more.
logo

* RMG workers go berserk in capital:

Thousands of workers of many garment factories in different parts of the capital took to the streets Friday morning to protest the deaths in Savar building collapse on Wednesday.

The aggrieved workers vandalised several vehicles including bus, taxi cab and CNG-run auto-rickshaws at Shewrapara in Mirpur, Pallabi, Malibagh and Gulshan in the capital.
They chanted slogans demanding punishment to the owners of Rana Plaza and also the factories housed in the building, said Abdul Latif Sheikh, officer-in-charge of Pallabi Police Station.

The agitating workers vandalised a number of factories at Shewrapara, Mirpur and Pallabi areas those were kept open on Friday instead of showing respect to the victims of the tragedy.
Following the vandalism, most of the factory authorities in the areas suspended their operation for day fearing further unrest, the police official said.
to read.  & read more.
daily star bd 

* RMG unrest flares up in Gazipur:

Labour flare-up erupted again in Gazipur readymade garments belt on Friday as several hundred workers staged demonstration demanding punishment of the owner of Rana Plaza that collapsed on Wednesday causing 282 so far reported deaths.

Traffic on the Dhaka-Mymensingh-Tangail highways came to a halt due to the demonstration of the RMG workers.

Sources said several hundred garment workers from Konabari, Bhogra, Borobari, Targanj, Chandona and other places took to the streets wielding sticks and staged demonstration demanding arrest and exemplary punishment of the owner of Rana Plaza.  read more.

* Savar Tragedy: rescuer in race against time; death toll 282:

Two days after the disastrous collapse of the 8-storey Rana Plaza here, hope fades for the rescue of the trapped people due to the slow pace in the rescue operation as death toll continues to go up raising it to 282 till Friday morning.

Savar thana officer-in-charge Asaduzzaman said 282 bodies were recovered so far from the debris of the building that crashed on Wednesday morning.
Of the bodies, 227 were handed over to their families, he said. Meanwhile, 26 bodies which remained unidentified were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue early Friday.  read more.

_____update 14.50 (LT)____

* 2 RMG factories torched in Gazipur:

Workers of several garments factories on Friday morning set fire to two factories in Gazipur to protest the Savar building collapse that killed at least 278 people.

The blaze continued to spread till filing of this report at noon as the firefighting units could not reach the spot due to a blockade put by the agitating workers on Chandana intersection, said Abu Zafar, station officer at Gazipur Fire Service.

The workers also blocked the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway for the second consecutive day Friday demanding death penalty to owners of the collapsed building and the garments factories it housed, said Iqbal Hossain, sergeant of Naojore Highway Police Station. read more. & read more.
daily star bd 

* RMG workers agitate in capital, vandalize vehicles:

Workers of many garment factories in different parts of the capital staged demonstration in the morning in protest of the deaths of their fellow colleagues in Savar building collapse.

Police said the aggrieved workers came on the streets with  procession instead of joining their workplaces and vandalized  several vehicles including bus and CNG-run auto-rickshaws at  different parts of the city including Mirpur, Pallabi, Kazipara,
Shewrapara, Malibag, Rampura and Gulshan.  read more.
BSS

* Angry RMG workers demand death for Rana Plaza owner:

Angry ready-made garment workers took to the streets in the capital on Friday protesting against the Savar tragedy demanding arrest of the owners of Rana Plaza and the five garment units housed inside the collapsed building.

Traffic through the capital was stalled when the protests turned violent, police said.
The Workers were protesting at Pallabi, Mirpur-1, Mirpur-10, Mirpur-11, Mirpur-14, Tejgaon industrial area, Kawran Bazar, Mohakhali, Gulshan, Rampura Badda and Malibagh areas, bdnews24.com Correspondents reported.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Tragedy shows urgency of worker protections: HRW:

The collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar shows the urgent need to improve Bangladesh’s protections for worker health and safety, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today.

Reforms should include a drastic overhaul of the government’s system of labour inspections and an end to government efforts to thwart the right of workers to unionise, said the international rights watchdog.
“Given the long record of worker deaths in factories, this tragedy was predictable,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
read more. & read more.
daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo

* A shock for RMG sector: Muhith:

On the third day of 8-storied Rana Plaza collapse, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith visited the spot on Friday morning.

During his visit Muhith said, “Along with hartal, these types of incidents are also terrible shock for the garments sector.”
He added, “This incident is devastating for us as we haven’t recovered from the shock of Tazreen Fashion fire yet.”
Muhith praised the engagement of general public in the rescue operation.
He further said that government will consider rehabilitation of the victims.
read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Toll reaches 292:

Death toll in Savar building collapse continues to rise as rescuers still searching for survivors trapped in the rubble. The photo was taken on Thursday.

Two days into the building collapse in Savar, the death toll stands at 292 on Friday as the frantic search for the trapped people under the rubble is still going on.

Rescuers pulled out 23 more bodies until noon from under the piles of rubble, sources in the control room opened for counting the bodies confirmed.
Of the bodies recovered, 241 have been handed over to their relatives.
So far around 2,100 survivors have been pulled out of the rubble.  read more.
daily star bd

_____update 16.40 (LT)____

* Workers protest in Dhaka over factory deaths:

Thousands of garment factory workers have protested in the capital, Dhaka, over the death of more than 200 workers in building collapse, as rescuers continued to hunt for survivors, local media have reported.

Al Jazeera’s special correspondent, whom we are not naming because of reporting restrictions, said on Thursday that thousands of protesters took to the streets of Dhaka with sticks in their hands chanting slogans such as “we want execution of the garment factory owners”.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association building office has been attacked, our correspondent said.

Workers have blocked a road and indulged in vandalism at some places, the Daily Star newspaper reported. Read & see more (video).
aljazeera

* Garments holiday on Saturday:

BGMEA has declared holiday at all readymade garment factories across the country for Saturday to express their shock at the death of workers in the Savar building collapse.

The announcement came amid street agitation by garment workers protesting the deaths of 292 of their fellow workers at the tragedy.
Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), confirmed the garment holiday to The Daily Star.
Angry over the deaths in the building collapse, thousand of garment workers vandalised over 100 vehicles in different parts of the city disrupting vehicular movement on several city streets for long time on Friday.
While many splinter groups demonstrated in many parts of the city, the main vandalism took place at Gabtoli, Kalyanpur, Shyamoli, Mirpur, Pallabi, Gulshan, Badda, Rampura and Malibagh.  to read. & read more.
daily star bd  wf-escenic-times

* RMG sector on boil; 8 orgs calls strike in all factories for Sunday:

Eight organisations of the garment workers on Friday called a daylong strike in all RMG factories across the country for Sunday in support of their seven-point demand, including the arrest of Rana Plaza and its factory owners.

Prior to the work abstention, the organisations working on garment workers’ rights, will hold black-flag processions across the country on Saturday apart from observing the dawn-to-dusk strike.
read more.read more.
  banglanews24 Logo

* Sweater factory shut in Narayanganj fearing disaster:

A sweater factory in Narayanganj was shut after cracks developed on the walls of the factory building on Thursday afternoon.

The cracks on the walls of Udayan Sweater Factory would be examined on Friday, said Aktar Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Fatullah Model Police Station.
read more.
daily star bd

* Building beside Rana Plaza also risky:

At least 30 people were injured when they heard sound of cracking in the building beside wrecked Rana Plaza and ran to and fro for safety.

Witnesses said that rescuers, volunteers and journalists were busy in rescue mission in the morning. At 9:30am, they heard sound of cracking from the RS Tower, building beside Rana Plaza. They started running for safety, leaving at least 30 of them injured.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* RMG unrest flares up in Gazipur, authorities shut factories for today:

Labour flare-up erupted again in Gazipur readymade garments belt on Friday as several hundred workers staged demonstration demanding punishment of the owner of Rana Plaza that collapsed on Wednesday causing 282 so far reported deaths.

Traffic on the Dhaka-Mymensingh-Tangail highways came to a halt due to the demonstration of the RMG workers.
Sources said several hundred garment workers from Konabari, Bhogra, Borobari, Targanj, Chandona and other places took to the streets wielding sticks and staged demonstration demanding arrest and exemplary punishment of the owner of Rana Plaza.  read more
logo

_____update 18.30 (LT)____

* Tight security in RMG factories:

Additional security measures have been taken in the readymade garments in the capital to avert any sabotage as workers went berserk demanding compensation to the victims of Savar Tragedy and punishment of the guilty persons.

Deputy Commisioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Syed Anwar Hossain confirmed the matter to banglanews on Friday morning.
He said additional law enforcers have been deployed in the factories apprehending untoward situation.  read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Inu appreciates rescuers for rescuing 2000 people:

Appreciating the rescuers for their ceaseless efforts to rescue people from the collapse building in Savar, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said rescuers have set a rare example by rescuing over 2000 people from the debris.

“It was a very difficult job to rescue over 2000 people from the debris . . . it is a rare example,” the information minister said while talking to journalists before joining a meeting of the management committee of Kushtia General Hospital here today.
He said the garment factories were kept open ignoring restrictions imposed by the authorities after the detecting cracks on Rana Plaza.
Reiterating the Prime Minister’s announcement to take legal action against those responsible for the incident, he said “it is not an accident, it is a killing incident”.
read more.
BSS

* It’s murder: Inu:

Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu on Friday called the Savar tragedy that killed at least 304 people as a murderous act.

“I wouldn’t call it an accident. I would say it’s a murder,” Inu said while talking to journalists after a meeting with the officials of Kushtia General Hospital at Kushtia Circuit House in the morning.
The death toll from the building collapse has risen to 304 till afternoon as the frantic search for the trapped people under the rubble is still going on.
The ministers said it is a serious offence to keep the factories running and showing disregard to all sorts of safety measures and regulations only for earning profits.
He said the owners of the factories are involved in the murder. read more.
daily star bd

* Arrest Rana,  factory owners: PM:

This April 24 photo shows, locals gather at the tragic sight in Savar where at least eighty people were killed in a building collapse.

This April 24 photo shows, locals gather at the tragic sight in Savar where at least eighty people were killed in a building collapse.

Two days into the Savar tragedy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the arrest of Rana Plaza owner and four proprietors of the garment factories housed in the building.

Prime minister’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad confirmed it to The Daily Star on Friday afternoon.
Mahbubul Hoque Shakil, special assistant (Media) to the prime minister, told The Daily Star that the order has already been sent to all agencies concerned.
Sources at the PMO said the agencies have already started operations to execute the prime minister’s order to arrest the people responsible for the tragedy.
Hours before the prime minister’s arrest order, two relatives of Sohel Rana, owner of the Rana Plaza, have been picked up from their native village in Manikganj.
read more. & read more. & read more.  & read more.& read more.
daily star bd    wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo logo

* Rana Plaza Collapse: 72 more rescued alive; death toll hits 304:

Seventy-two more people were rescued alive from the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza on Friday as the death toll continues to go up taking it to 304 till this (Friday) afternoon.

Of the bodies, 281 were handed over to their families, Shahinur Islam, director of the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), said while briefing journalists at the spot around 4:30pm.
He also said a total of 2,348 people have so far been pulled out alive of the collapsed building.
Those rescued on Friday included two members of Industrial Police — ASI Mukul and constable Rafiqul Islam. They got trapped inside the building when they had been there on Wednesday morning to inspect it.

Two days after the disastrous collapse of the eight-storey building here, the hope for the rescue of the trapped people is fading fast due to the slow pace in rescue operation.  read more. & read more.
  banglanews24 Logo

* RMG units to remain closed Saturday, Sunday: BGMEA, BKMEA:

The country’s trade bodies of the apparel sector on Friday decided to keep the production in all readymade garment (RMG) factories closed on Saturday and Sunday for, what they said, ensuring proper treatment and completion of rescue operation successfully.

The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) announced the decision at a joint press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban in the evening.

BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam, BKMEA President AKM Selim Osman, former BGMEA president Annisul Huq, former FBCCI President AK Azad, and leaders of the BKMEA were present.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
  wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo  logo daily star bd

* Rana Plaza Collapse: 10-man body to coordinate rescue operation:

The government has formed a 10-member high-powered committee to coordinate the rescue operation in the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar on the outskirts of the capital.

The committee, formed with the GOC of Ninth Infantry Division of Savar Cantonment as its head, includes representatives from the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, Department of Disaster Management, Home Ministry, Information Ministry, Directorate of Health, Fire Service and Civil Defence and Dhaka North City Corporation, and the deputy commissioner and police super of Dhaka, said PID handout.  read  more. & read more.
  BSS

* BNP seeks judicial probe in Savar tragedy:

 The opposition BNP on Friday demanded judicial probe into the loss of lives in the Rana Plaza collapse, alleging the workers were ‘murdered’ by forcing them to join their work in the risky building for ‘political reasons’.

Standing Committee member MK Anwar also castigated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the claim that building owner Sohel Rana was not an activist of the Juba League, the youth font of the ruling Awami League.  read more. & read more.wf-escenic-times  logo

* Buyers say sorry! :

At least four international companies who used to purchase garment clothes from garments at Rana plaza -New Wave Bottoms, Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tack and Ethar Textile Ltd– have expressed their deep sympathy to the Savar building collapse victims.

The buyers include- major European and American brands, like the Children’s Place, Benetton, Cato Fashions, Mango and others.
Ethar claims to produce clothes for Walmart, but this has been challenged by the US giant. Other firms have also distanced themselves from the disaster. Only Britain’s Primark freely admitted that it was using a factory in Rana Plaza.
Times, an international daily, published a report on this issue on Friday.

In the article, officials say the building showed cracks on Tuesday, but the owner, Sohel Rana, a local leader of the ruling Awami League party’s youth wing, allegedly dismissed them as “nothing serious.”
Activists claim the tragedy could have been avoided had staff in Rana Plaza been unionized and thus in a position to defy the order to ignore the danger.

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on the organization’s website that the Rana Plaza tragedy was predictable given the long record of worker deaths in factories in Bangladesh.   read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Slow rescue operation to save lives: ISPR:

Heavy machineries are not being used in the rescue operation at Rana Plaza in Savar as it may further put to risk the lives under the debris, says the Director of Inter Service Public Relations Directorate (ISPR).

Md Shaheenul Islam in a press brief on Friday refuted claims that suggested that the government machinery was conducting the operation too slow, saying, “The rescue operation is being carried out on directions from the government. All heavy machineries required for rescue is at their disposal, but those heavy equipment are not being use as their use may further endanger the lives of those who are trapped inside.”
The ISPR Director held a press briefing on the rescue operation in Monsur Market near Rana Plaza on Friday.
The rescue operation would continue until the recovery or the rescue of the very last victim, he said.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

_____update 01.00h(LT)____

* RMG workers erupt into protest over deaths:

8 bodies call strike for tomorrow

Garment workers took to streets in the capital as well as in Gazipur and Narayanganj for the second straight day Friday following the Savar factory tragedy that so far claimed more than 300 lives.

Later eight organisations of the workers called a dawn-to-dusk strike for tomorrow (Sunday) in all apparel factories in the country to realise their seven-point demand, including immediate arrest of the Rana Plaza owner and also the owners of the factories housed there.
The strike programme will be preceded by black flag processions across the country Saturday.
The worst ever tragedy in the apparel sector occurred, as the Rana Plaza housing some ready-made garments (RMG) factories at Savar in Dhaka collapsed Wednesday with thousands of workers inside.  read more.

* Garment workers stage violent protests:

Thousands of garment workers staged angry protests in the capital and in Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj on Friday blocking highways and attacking vehicles to press for immediate arrest of the owners of Rana Plaza at Savar that had collapsed on Wednesday killing more than 300 workers.Apparel workers damage an auto-rickshaw on Pragati Sarani at Badda in Dhaka on Friday during their protests demanding work place safety and punishment of the people responsible for the Rana Plaza collapse. � Ali Hossain Mintu

 

In the face of the widespread protests, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has announced closure of all factories in Dhaka, Savar, Gazipur and Narayanganj for Saturday.

Eight organisations of apparel workers have called a daylong shutdown for Sunday to press their seven-point demand, including arrest of the owners of the building and the factories housed in it.  read more.

* RMG Unrest: BGMEA sits in fresh meeting with ministers, labour leaders:

Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sat in a fresh meeting with a number of ministers and labour leaders on Friday night to discuss the next course of actions hours after holding a press conference.

“The leaders are already in a meeting again. A number of ministers and all labour leaders are there in the meeting,” a BGMEA official told UNB over phone preferring anonymity.
He said Home Minister Dr Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, Industries Minister Dilip Barua, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian, head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour Ministry M Israfil Alam are already in the meeting.
read more.  & read more. & read more.
  wf-escenic-times 

* 659 people still missing in Savar tragedy:

Rescuers have come up with a list of 659 people who are still missing in the worst building collapse in the country.

The list has been made as per information given by the relatives of those who used to work inside the Rana Plaza, Savar Model Police Station Inspector (Investigation) Aminur Rahman told bdnews24.com.
”We have put the names on the list checking the identity cards and photos of those missing until 7pm on Friday,” he said.
The high-rise commercial building came crushing down on Wednesday morning. According to local people, around 3,500 employees were working in the five garment factories inside when the tragedy struck.  read nore.
wf-escenic-times

* 30 hurt as building beside Rana Plaza ‘shakes’:

At least 30 people were injured on Friday morning when people hurried out of a building situated next to Rana Plaza, which collapsed claiming over 275 lives.

A large number of anxious people tried to move out of the five-story RF Tower, located behind Rana Plaza, after news spread that it was ‘shaking’.
Rescuers, including the Bangladesh Army men, were conducting salvage operations at the RF Tower, Savar Police Station Officer in-Charge Asaduzzaman told bdnews24.com.
It seemed to them that the building quivered at around 8:45am, he said. “At least 30 people were injured while hurrying out of the building.”  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Savar tragedy toll hits 314:

2361 rescued alive: Locals, rescuers clash

Some 314 bodies were recovered from the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza as of Friday evening as the death toll from the human tragedy continues to go up, reports UNB.

A total of 85 more people were also pulled out alive from 1.30am to 8.30pm Friday from the building that crashed on Wednesday, taking the number of the people rescued so far to 2,361.
Of the bodies, 287 were handed over to their families, said officer-in-charge (Investigation) Aminur Rahman. Besides, 26 unidentified ones were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue.
Those rescued on Friday included two members of Industrial Police — ASI Mukul and constable Rafiqul Islam. They got trapped inside the building as they had been there on Wednesday morning to inspect it.

Meanwhile, rescuers traced over 100 people alive on the ground floor of the crashed building. The victims were provided with dry food and drinking water. The rescuers hoped that they will be able to pull them out by early Saturday.
read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.newstodayBD  BSS  logo 

* Arrest warrants issued against Rana, factory owners: Home Minister:

Home Minister Dr Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Friday night said the government has issued arrest warrants against the owners of Rana Plaza (Sohel Rana) and the RMG factories housed in the collapsed eight-storey complex.

“We’ve directed the officials concerned to keep vigil so that they can’t flee the country,” he said after a meeting with the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and BKMEA leaders at the BGMEA Bhaban.
“We discussed the arrest of the owners at any cost. All have agreed to put in all-out efforts to that end,” Industries Minister Dilip Barua told UNB over phone after the meeting.
Responding to a question, Barua said they also requested the labour leaders to withdraw the strike called by workers organisations for Sunday and not to call further strike. read more. & read more. & read more.
   logo

* Savar tragedy a crime against humanity: Suranjit:

Minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta on Friday said that the owners of the garment factories at Rana Plaza committed crimes against humanity by killing the workers after calling them to join work in the cracked building.

At a discussion organised by Dhaka divisional unit of Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, he, however, urged opposition leaders to shun politics with the Savar disaster, saying that this was not the time for politics.
Requesting the opposition leaders to behave more responsibly and sensibly, Suranjit said that the culprits involved in the Savar tragedy would be punished after rescuing all the victims trapped in Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24.  read  more.

* Savar building collapse sparks workers’ agitation:

Thousands of readymade garments (RMG) workers from different factories in Dhaka, Gazipur, Savar and Narayanganj vandalised more than 150 vehicles and set fire on several factories on Friday.

This has left 50 workers injured. The workers took to the streets, demanding exemplary punishment for Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza in Savar, and resignation of the home minister, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir.
The agitated workers carried out vandalism in Shewrapara, Kazipara, Mirpur, Pallabi, Shyamoli, Kolyanpur, Gabtoli, Gulshan, Badda, Rampura and Malibagh.
read more.
logo

* 90 % of buildings in Dhaka’s outskirts unauthorised:

Nearly 90 per cent of the buildings in the outskirts of the capital, including Savar, have been built illegally or without authorization from the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkhya (RAJUK), said sources in the country’s capital development authority.

The collapse of the eight-storied Rana Plaza in Savar on Wednesday, which claimed over 200 lives and injured around 2,000, has rung alarm bells. All unauthorized buildings should be identified immediately, the authorities feel, before any further mishap occurs.
“Eighty to 90 per cent of the buildings outside the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) area have been constructed without authorization from RAJUK,” said Sk Abdul Mannan, member (planning) of RAJUK.
read more.  & read more. & read more.
logo  Logo  daily star bd

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 20130427

* 25 RMG workers from Mirzapur missing since Savar tragedy:

At least 25 garments workers of seven villages under Mirzapur Upazila of Tangail district are missing since the Savar Rana Plaza tragedy.

The relatives of the missing workers have been wailing containing the photos of the missing workers. The air of the seven villages has become heavy by their wailing. Tragic scene was observed at the house of missing Abu Hanif. His parents have become speechless.
Abu Hanif came home on Pahela Boishakh.
A bride was selected for his marriage. He was the only earning member of the family.
The wailing of his parents made the air heavy. Nothing could console them. The same picture was observed in other missing families of the Upazila. When contacted, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Mirzapur Afroj Akhter Chowdhury said that they are preparing list of the dead and missing workers. Their families will be provided help by the government.
to read. & read more.
logo  daily star bd

* Frantic search for the missing:

The clock ticked away as relatives of those missing under the rubble of Rana Plaza ran around frantically looking for their loved ones – dead or alive.

They moved back and forth between the scene of the building collapse to the hospitals and morgues in Savar, Ashulia and Dhaka.
Defying scorching heat, Nepal Moni Lal was looking for his 26-year-old daughter Kajalie Rani, a helper at the sewing section of Phantom Tac Ltd on the fourth floor of the nine-storey building.
At around 10:00am yesterday, diminishing hope and exhaustion overcame him. He fainted and was admitted to Savar Sadar Hospital.
With Nepal were his 15 relatives, friends and neighbours, all of who have been looking for Kajali since Wednesday.
They have been to every clinics and hospitals in Savar and Ashulia. They also went to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, morgue, and Pongu Hospital, but in vain.
read more.
daily star bd

* Fight for life on under debris:

Even with the stench of degrading corps becoming unbearable, the hope for finding survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse is still high.

At least 73 people were brought out of the rubble alive yesterday, three days after the building came crashing down.
The rescuers’ efforts seem relentless and people are surviving by what could only be described as a miracle. More are believed to be trapped alive under the rubble.
However, the death toll of the country’s worst building collapse is 304 and climbing.
The rescue teams are providing water, saline and oxygen cylinders whenever they find a survivor inside. “We have supplied saline, torchlight and oxygen to a spot where around 24 people are still alive,” said Jashim Uddin, a rescuer.
read more.
daily star bd

* Rescued after 45 hrs under rubble:

Time was running out for Rikta.

She was hungry and thirsty and drained.
Two days had passed since she was trapped inside Rana Plaza.
Nobody came.
So when somebody came yesterday morning, about 45 hours after the collapse, she first thought: “Am I still alive?”

But to remain alive she would have to suffer more: It was a group of civil rescuers who found her around 5:30am yesterday under the rubble on the third floor of the nine-storey building. Her right hand was trapped under a sewing machine.
The rescuers tried all means they could think of to pull her out. All attempts failed. So they had to improvise.
They brought a hand saw, tied both her legs and hands, held her tightly so that she could not move and then cut off her hand from above the elbow.

“I somehow managed to bear the pain when they were cutting my flesh. But when it reached my bone … I don’t know how to describe the pain,” she told The Daily Star at Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar, and then fainted.  read more
daily star bd

* Help pours in for rescuers:

Mass participation shows selfless love for humanity

They are no relative of the victims. They don’t know the names. Yet all they want is to be of any help to the hapless people.

After the nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on Wednesday, people, mostly youths, and different organisations, thronged the place to stand beside the victims and their relatives.
All along the route from the disaster site to Enam Medical College and Hospital and beyond, people were handing out food, water and other relief materials they were able to bring. Some joined hands in the rescue operation.
“Have water”, “Take this biriyani packet,” “Water and biscuit are free”– the area is resounded with these words.
Just in front of the collapsed building, from a makeshift shed, social organisation Work for Life, distribute bread, biscuit, juice, cucumber, banana, mineral water, saline, packets of biriyani and khicchuri among the rescuers and people whoever need those.  read more.
daily star bd

* Brave souls in Savar:

No safety gear, no training, no proper equipment.

But they have brave hearts to help the workers trapped in a mangled mess of concrete and rods.
As the Rana Plaza tragedy unfolded, many ordinary people joined the rescue effort. A large number of students, street vendors, garment workers and religious leaders joined hands with fire fighters, army and police.

In some cases, the unequipped civilians were seen leading the desperate operation putting their lives at risk.
They entered the building by breaking the walls, and pulled out people — dead or alive, while law enforcers were just busy controlling the crowd.
One of the brave men managed to rescue a pregnant woman alive. Another rescuer, without any medical knowledge, untangled a garment worker from the debris by cutting her leg.  read more.
daily star bd

* A daunting task:

Mostly untrained, unequipped locals help firefighters in rescue operations

It has been mainly the firefighters and locals who have been conducting the rescue operation at Rana Plaza site in Savar since Wednesday, the day the nine-storey building collapsed.

During spot visits, it was seen that personnel of army, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were mostly handling the crowd and making way for their vehicles and other vehicles carrying food and medicine to and out of the spot.
The locals and firefighters using shovels, handsaw, hammers and other handy tools have been cutting the fallen walls, grills and roofs to get the victims out of the debris.

However, after recovery of any victim, personnel of other agencies are seen active to take the victim to hospital.
Against such backdrop, families of the victims and locals yesterday morning staged an angry demonstration in front of the collapsed building alleging that the government machineries were not putting sincere efforts in the rescue; rather the army, Rab, BGB and police were playing the role of onlookers.  read more.
daily star bd

* RMGs for Primark, Lablaw were made in factories at Rana Plaza:

Global buyers Primark and Lablaw have stated that apparel products for the companies were made in the factories at Rana Plaza that collapsed Wednesday while some others including C&A denied any contractual agreement with any of those garment units.

The collapse of a multi-storeyed building at Savar that so far left more than 300 people, most of them garment workers, dead and several hundred others injured, drew extensive international media attention.
The buyers have also expressed their condolences to the family members of the victims.

Irish clothing retailer Primark confirmed that one of its suppliers occupied the second floor of the eight- storey building, which housed several suppliers to the garment industry making clothing for a number of brands.
In a statement published in its website it said the company is shocked and deeply saddened by this appalling incident at Savar, near Dhaka, and expressed its condolences to all of those involved.  read more.

* Savar building tragedy and beyond:

It was indeed distressing to see a total break-down of the chain of command and failure in enforcement in our economy, politics and the country. A reporter from abroad contacted me to comment on the Savar building collapse, which took away so many human lives.

It was really embarrassing to hear the comments from our honourable Home Minister, pointing fingers at the opposition for having caused collapse of the multi-storey building Rana Plaza during hartal, which in turn might have led this tragedy to happen.
(…)
The reporter asked what did the BGMEA, industry, labour or home ministries do to make sure an episode like Spectrum or Tazreen did not happen in the country? This question is all the more relevant now after the incident at Savar. Will this not recur in future? There is no answer as these episodes are sure to happen. The government, whichever is in power, will try to `pass the bucks’ to the opposition; our nationalist or socialist friends will keep on commenting to media to give all the `large jobs or contracts’ to local builders and the culprits will go scot free.  read more.

* Rights groups urge govt to improve safety steps, allow TU formation:


A woman wailing for her missing relative near the site of building collapse at Savar Friday. — FE Photo

Leading global rights groups, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), are expressing deep concern at the death of hundreds of workers in the latest building collapse at Savar, calling upon the authorities concerned to improve safety measures immediately in the country’s industrial sector.

The rights groups have also urged the international companies that purchase ready-made garments (RMG) and other products from Bangladesh to ensure that workers’ safety is maintained throughout their supply chains.
The collapse of an eight-storey factory building at Savar near Dhaka shows the urgent need to improve Bangladesh’s protections for workers’ health and safety, the HRW said Thursday.
The disaster is another black mark on Bangladesh’s industrial safety record, said Washington-based advocacy group – the International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF).
read more.

_____update 13.30h.(LT)____

* Rana Plaza collapse: Death toll hits 335; many more traced alive:

News - Rana Plaza collapse: Death toll hits 335; many more traced alive

At least 335 bodies were recovered from the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza as of Saturday morning as the death toll from the tragedy continues to go up.

Of the bodies, 318 were handed over to the victim’s families, said Officer-in-charge (Investigation) of Savar Police Station Aminur Rahman.
Besides, 26 unidentified ones were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue.
Meanwhile, Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka district police arrested two garment factory owners from the city’s Ramna area early Saturday in connection with the disastrous building collapse.
At the same time, police detained Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana’s wife Mitu Akter from Shahibagh area of Savar municipality for interrogation.
Earlier, police also detained four relatives of Rana for quizzing.
read more. & read more.

* Rana’s wife, 2 garment factory owners in custody:

Mitu Akhter, wife of Sohel Rana, the owner of the collapsed Rana Plaza, was detained while two garment factory owners were arrested early Saturday in connection with the disastrous building collapse.

Officer-in-charge (OC) of Savar Police Station Asaduzzaman said they detained Mitu Akhter, 25, from her father’s house at Shahibagh around 1.00am for interrogation.  read more.
  banglanews24 Logo

* Two RMG factory owners & 2 engineers held over Savar tragedy:

Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka district police arrested two garment factory owners from the city’s Ramna area early Saturday in connection with the disastrous building collapse in Savar.

The arrested were identified as Bazlus Samad Adnan,45, chairman of New Weave Bottoms and New Weave Style, and Mahmudur Rahman Tapas, managing director of the two garment units.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
  daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo  wf-escenic-times  BSS

* Rana Plaza collapse: Owner’s wife detained:

Police detained wife of Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building Rana Plaza in Savar, from Shahibagh area of Savar municipality for interrogation on Saturday.The arrestee was identified as Mitu Akter, 25.

Officer-in-charge (OC) Asaduzzaman of Savar Police Station said they arrested Mitu from her father’s house at Shahibagh at about 1.00am for interrogation.
read more. & read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* Garment workers block road in Mirpur:

Angry over the deaths in Savar building collapse, hundreds of garment workers staged demonstration and blockaded a road in the city’s Mirpur Saturday morning.

The workers gathered at Mirpur-10 roundabout around 8:30am and kept the intersection blockaded for half an hour.
Vehicular movement on the adjacent thoroughfares was disrupted following the blockade, said Kazi Wazed Ali, officer-in-charge of Kafrul Police Station.
Police negotiated with the workers and freed the road around 9:00am, he added.
Thousands of garment workers on Friday vented their anger on vehicles in and around the capital leaving the public transport system on the brink of a collapse.
They vandalised at least 160 vehicles in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj.
to read.
daily star bd

* 5 injured as cops fire shots on RMG workers at Rana Plaza:

Five people suffered bullet wounds as police fired shots on agitating garment workers near Rana Plaza here on Saturday morning.

Police said the trouble started at Bank Town near Rana Plaza around 9.30 am when a group of RGM workers, angered by slow rescue operation in the collapsed building, tried to break the police cordon.
Later, the law enforcers fired some 50 rounds of rubber bullets and lobbed 20 teargas canisters to disperse them, leaving the five injured.  read more.

* 50 hurt as RMG workers clash with cops in Savar:

At least 50 garment workers were injured in a clash with police at Ulail and Phulbari in Savar Saturday morning.

The workers vandalised at least five vehicles on Dhaka-Aricha highway during the clash, halting vehicular movement since 9:00am, said Shyamol Kumar Mukharjee, additional superintendent of police.
Police fired several gunshots, rubber bullets and teargas shells to quell the agitation workers.
Angered by the deaths of their fellow workers, several thousands of garment workers took to the streets in Ulail area demanding capital punishment to those responsible for the Savar building collapse.  read more.
daily star bd

* RMG workers, police clash near Savar:

Hundreds of readymade garment (RMG) factory workers are fighting pitched battles with the police at Savar’s Ulail in an apparent outrage over the deaths following the collapse of a multi-storied building at Savar.

Police say scores of workers came out on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway’s Ulail Bus Stand area, just miles away from the site of the nine-storey building, on Saturday morning.
read more.
wf-escenic-times

* 18-party meeting at 9pm:

The BNP-led 18-party alliance will hold a meeting on Saturday night to set their next course of action following current situation of the country.

The meeting will be held at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office at 9:00pm with Khaleda Zia in the chair.
The ongoing political situation, next course of action and Savar tragedy will also come up for their discussion, said Dr. Mostafizur Rahman Iran, chairman of Labor Party, an ally of the 18-party alliance.  to read.
banglanews24 Logo

* Govt to change law for stringent punishment:

The government will bring amendment, if necessary, in the existing law to stop recurrence of deadly incident like Savar tragedy, said Law Minister Shafique Ahmed on Saturday.

“The government will also formulate a new law, if necessary after scrutinising the present one,” the minister told reporters during a press briefing at Jatiya Press Club in the capital over National Legal Aid Day on April 28.
Shafique made the comment when asked about the steps taken by the government following the Savar tragedy. read more.
daily star bd

* Rescuers revise plan for massive interventions:

The rescuers today revised their massive salvage campaign using heavy equipment as more survivors are trapped under tones of concrete rubbles even on the fourth day of the eight-storey building collapse here.

Commander of the salvage campaign Major General Hassan Sarwardy today said that they would not use heavy equipment to remove the debris as they expect rescuing more people alive.
The decision came when seven survivors were retrieved alive today and one of the rescued women said her brother awaits under the debris for helps of the rescuers.
read more.
BSS

* Major Retailers Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan:

As Bangladesh reels from the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in a building collapse, the refusal of global retailers to pay for strict nationwide factory inspections is bringing renewed scrutiny to an industry that has profited from a country notorious for its hazardous workplaces and subsistence-level wages.

After a factory fire killed 112 garment workers in November, clothing brands and retailers continued to reject a union-sponsored proposal to improve safety throughout Bangladesh’s $20 billion garment industry. Instead, companies expanded a patchwork system of private audits and training that labor groups say improves very little in a country where official inspections are lax and factory owners have close relations with the government.  read more.
huffpost

* Bangladesh Disaster: Who Pays the Real Price of Your Shirt? :

Seven hundred workers have died in factory fires in Bangladesh since 2005, including the 112 who burned to death or jumped to their deaths at the Tazreen factory on November 24th. Now hundreds more bodies are being pulled from the rubble of the Rana Plaza building, in an industrial district 18 miles from Dhaka.

At Tazreen the owners didn’t build fire escapes. They’d locked the doors on the upper floors “to prevent theft,” trapping workers in the flames.
At Rana Plaza, factory owners refused to evacuate the building after huge cracks appeared in the walls, even after safety engineers told them not to let workers inside.
Workers told IndustriALL union federation representatives they’d be docked three days pay for each day of an absence, and so went inside despite their worries. As a result, the death toll is already over 250 and more are still trapped under debris.
read more.
Home

_____update 20.30h.(LT)____

* Rain hampers rescue operation:

Rain-hurdles-rescue

The sudden downpour badly hampered the rescue and search efforts at the site of Savar building collapse on Saturday. 

The rescue operation is going on in full swing since morning with 14 people rescued alive.
But the rescuers have been facing difficulties to continue their operation till 1:30pm when this report was filed, reported our correspondent from the spot.
The rain started around 12:45pm.
Rescue workers, who were inside the sandwiched building, went out fearing another collapse as deluge stared to pouring inside the collapsed building.
The workers were seen working only on the ninth-floor which is the top floor of the building.  to read.
daily star bd

 * Signs of life linger in the ruins:

As heavy rain poured down from Saturday noon, it cast doubts over further rescue of people trapped inside the ill-fated nine-storey Rana Plaza. But rescuers surprisingly managed to bring out one more survivor from the deepest part of the wreckage.

In this April 25 photo, rescuers are seen searching people trapped inside the ill-fated nine-storey building that collapsed on Wednesday at Savar.

“There are a number of people still alive at the third floor of the wreckage,” said volunteer rescuer Miraz who, along with other rescuers brought out a woman alive around 1:00pm.

“I have talked to them standing close to a tunnel that took us to a broken pillar. They gathered on the other side of the pillar. When I talked to them, they called my name and said that they don’t want to come out. I don’t know what’s wrong,” Miraz said.
read more.
daily star bd

* Aljazeera report & Arrests over Bangladesh building collapse:

Bangladeshi police say they have made three arrests after a garment factory outside Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 300 people.

The building’s owners and an engineer who was responsible for maintenance were arrested on Saturday after the death toll rose to 324.
“We’ve arrested Bazlus Samad, the chairman of New Wave Buttons and New Wave Style factories, and Mahmudur Rahaman Tapash, a managing director of one of these plants, after midnight,” Shyamal Mukherjee, deputy chief of Dhaka police, told AFP news agency.
One manager for the New Wave Styles company, one of the five manufacturers in the building, said the owner had consulted an engineer but then ignored his warnings.
read & see more (video).
aljazeera

* Bam Morcha demands Rana’s arrest by Sunday or hartal on May 2:

Ganotantrik Bam Morcha, a conglomerate of seven left-leaning parties, on Saturday threatened to enforce a nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal on May 2 if its 9-point demand, including the arrest of the owners of Rana Plaza and garment factories, are not met by Sunday.

“We demand that owner of the building (Rana Plaza) Sohel Rana be held by April 28. We’re calling for a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal for May 2 if the owners of the building and garment factories housed in the building are not arrested within April 28,” said the Marcha coordinator Moshrefa Mishu.
She was speaking at a press conference orgnasied by the Morcha at its Topkhana Road office in protest against the killing of workers in the building collapse.
read more.

* Rescue operation satisfactory, heavy equipment would be used later: Minister:

Rescue operation is satisfactory at the Savar building collapse site where many lives were lost, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said today.

“Heavy equipment would be used later during next course of operation, as many people are still under rubbles of the building,” he said at a press briefing at Press Information Department (PID) conference room here.

The minister said the professional rescue teams including Bangladesh Army, Fire Service and Civil Defence and others are using small equipment aimed at saving lives of those who are still alive inside the collapsed building.  read more.
BSS

* Tragedy Shows Urgency of Worker Protections:

The collapse of an eight-story factory building near Dhaka shows the urgent need to improve Bangladesh’s protections for worker health and safety, Human Rights Watch said today. Reforms should include a drastic overhaul of the government’s system of labor inspections and an end to government efforts to thwart the right of workers to unionize.

In the Savar area outside the Bangladeshi capital, the Rana Plaza building contained five garment factories. The complex collapsed just before 9 a.m. on April 24, 2013. At the time of writing, the death toll from the collapse had reached hundreds, mostly garment factory workers, with large numbers of people still trapped in the rubble.

The building had been evacuated the previous day when large cracks had appeared in the walls. Numerous workers in the building were reluctant to enter the premises on the morning before the collapse, but did so after being told the building was safe or after alleged threats from company officials.

(…)
“Successive Bangladeshi governments have paid lip service to worker safety but in reality it is only the factory owners who have the ear of policymakers,” Adams said.
(…)
“Had one or more of the Rana Plaza factories been unionized, workers could have refused to enter the building the day it collapsed,” Adams said. “This tragedy shows that the right to organize a union in Bangladesh is not just a matter of getting fair wages – it’s a matter of saving lives.”  read more.
HRW

* RMG workers go berserk in Ctg:

Hundreds of RMG workers went on a rampage in different parts of the port city on Saturday demanding punishment to the people responsible for the horrific building collapse at Savar.

Police said several hundred workers of Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) put up blockade at CEPZ intersection about 9 am and staged demonstration, halting traffic movement on Airport road for two hours.
The agitated workers also brought out protest procession at city’s Teribazar, Jamalkhan, Sadarghat, Agrabad and Panchlaish areas and vandalized several vehicles.  read more.

* Death toll jumps to 346:

The death toll from the Savar building collapse has risen to 346 as rescue workers recovered 31 more bodies from beneath the rubble of the nine-storey building on Saturday.

At least 30 people were pulled out of the rubble alive on Saturday. So far, 2,429 people have been rescued from the debris since the building caved in on Wednesday morning.
With the new tally, a total of 346 bodies have been recovered till 6:00pm Saturday, said sources in the police control room set up at Savar Adharchandra High School.
Three hundred and thirty five bodies were handed over to their relatives, it said.
The control room sources said they fell short of Oxygen kits needed to help the survivors.
A rescue team of fire fighters found three people alive in the second floor in the morning and rescued them around noon, nearly 75 hours after the building crumbled like a pack of cards, reported our correspondent from the spot.  read more.
daily star bd

* 5 injured as cops fire shots on RMG workers at Rana Plaza:

Five people suffered bullet wounds as police fired shots on agitating garment workers near Rana Plaza here on Saturday morning.

Police said the trouble started at Bank Town near Rana Plaza around 9.30 am when a group of RGM workers, angered by slow rescue operation in the collapsed building, tried to break the police cordon.
Later, the law enforcers fired some 50 rounds of rubber bullets and lobbed 20 teargas canisters to disperse them, leaving the five injured. read more.

* RMG workers run amok in Savar, Gazipur:

Outraged by the deaths of fellow-workers in a deadly building collapse, the ready made garment workers went on a rampage in Savar and Gazipur on Saturday demanding punishment to the owner of the building.

At least 50 workers were injured in Savar as they clashed with law enforcers.
The marauding workers also vandalised eight factories in Savar and Gazipur.
The traffic movement on Dhaka-Aricha highway came to a halt for four hours during the clash that ensued around 9:00am, said Shyamol Kumar Mukharjee, additional superintendent of police in Dhaka district.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the nine-storey building collapse reached 340 on Saturday, three days into the tragedy.  read more.
daily star bd

* Work place accidents of workers rising’:

Casualties suffered by workers due to occupational accidents, violence and industrial disputes are on the rise day by day in the country.

According to a survey, carried out by Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS), 906 workers were killed due to the incidents in 2012 while it was 301 in 2000. Some 1108 others were also injured in the year 2012.
Citing the survey report at a press conference at BILS office at Dhanmondi in the city on Saturday, BILS officials said the death toll was 869 in 2011 while it was 703 in 2010.
It indicated that the occupational accidents being faced by the workers are increasing, they said.  read more.

* First among hospitalised victims of Rana Plaza ‘dies at DMCH’:

The first among the hospitalised victims of Rana Plaza collapse died while undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Saturday.

Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque said this at a press conference at the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) while updating reporters about the treatment of the injured admitted to various public and private hospitals.
At present, 670 injured are being treated at public hospitals in Dhaka and Savar, he said, adding that 1,419 others have already been released after the treatment.
read more.

* Govt helped Rana flee: BNP:

BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Saturday accused the government of abetting the owner of collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar to flee the scene on the fateful day.

“You (govt) helped the Rana Plaza owner, Sohel Rana, to flee. He isn’t found now. His relatives have been arrested as part of an eye-wash,” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the allegation while addressing a protest rally at the National Press Club.
read more. & read more. & read more.
daily star bd  wf-escenic-times  logo

* Tarpaulin scarcity may hamper rescue mission:

Rescue workers at the site of the country’s worst ever industrial disaster at Savar continued their mission despite heavy shower on Saturday putting up some hardship for them in the absence of adequate tarpaulin and relevant materials.

Despite heavy rain that lasted for around 15 minutes, the rescuers though continued their job as usual in the noon, but they feared they might need more tarpaulin to carry on with their mission if it further rains.
”Rain can’t stop our work,” Fire Service Director Major Mohammad Mahbub, one of the rescuers, told bdnews24.com.
He also urged everyone to bring tarpaulin and thick polythene sheets to the site as their stocks running thin.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* Savar Tragedy: BGMEA yet to form probe body:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is yet to form an investigation committee over the Savar building collapse even after fourth day of the tragic incident.

But, any responsible person of the organization is not taking responsibility of dillydally.
The authorities concerned said they would not form any investigation committee until the rescue work is finished.
Experts opined that there is no relation between the completion of rescue work and forming an investigation committee.   read more.
banglanews24 Logo

* BGMEA asks factory owners for building designs:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Saturday asked garments owners to submit building designs of all the RMG factories within July.

BGMEA sources said the initiative is being taken as a part to change the negative attitude of overseas buyers and enhance safety of this industry after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar.
The sources said some 5000 RMG factories have been asked to submit their design by July.
Vice President of BGMEA M Shahidullah Azim said, “Collapse of the building in Savar is an accident but we want to ensure that RMG sector is safe from negative impact.”
He added; “We want to show our overseas buyers that proper steps are being taken as safety measures of the RMG workers and this is why we have asked to submit the designs by July.”
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
banglanews24 Logo  daily star bd    logo 

* Govt to despatch 4 medical teams to Savar:

Government has decided to despatch four teams of specialist doctors to Savar for providing quick and better medical facilities to the injured.

The teams would be headed by an orthopaedic surgeon and would also comprise experts from other streams like neurology and nephrology, Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque told bdnews24.com on Saturday.
Haque said the teams would assess the condition of the injured and would provide necessary treatment to them at Savar.
If need be the experts would refer the patients to Dhaka, he added.  read more.
wf-escenic-times

* PM’s Relief Fund receives Tk 5mn for Savar victims:

Exporters’ Association on Saturday donated Tk 5 million to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the Savar building collapse victims.

Association President Syed Nasim Monjur handed over a cheque for the amount to the Prime Minister at her official residence Ganobhaban in the evening, PM’s press secretary Abul kalam Azad said.
Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam was, among others, present.
to read. & read more.
  BSS

* Arrest Sohel Rana, Murad Jong in 24 hrs: BNP:

Accusing the Prime Minister of helping Rana Plaza owner to escape by defending him in Parliament, opposition BNP on Tuesday demanded the arrest of Sohel Rana and ruling party MP Murad Jong within 24 hours over the Savar tragedy.

“Rana wouldn’t have been able to run away had the Prime Minister not defended him in parliament and cooked up a story about him. Now the government is trying to fool people by arresting his relatives,” said BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf.
Addressing a rally in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, the BNP leader also alleged that the government is trying to shift the blame on the opposition for the Savar building collapse only to hush up its wrongdoing in this regard as other incidents in the past. read more.

* Country exercises biggest rescue drill after Savar collapse: experts:

The country has been witnessing the biggest ever rescue drill retrieving alive so far 2426 people as it suffered the worst ever disaster of such type following the collapse of a eight-storey building at suburban Savar four days ago.

“In one line I can tell you, this is the manifestation of a good salvage campaign,” disaster management expert Professor Mehedi Ansary of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) told BSS.
Ansary, an earthquake specialist, said this was an incident when largest number of people were rescued from under tonnes of concrete rubbles after such a deadly collapse that until the afternoon saw retrieval of 341 bodies.
read more. & read more.
BSS   logo

* 29 people rescued 72 hours after collapse:

Rescuers have saved 29 more lives on Saturday 80 hours after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar.

Heavy machinery and equipments are not used yet as the rescuers are hopeful of finding more survivors.
The death toll has reached to around 350 on Saturday while almost a thousand people are still missing.
Rescue efforts continued amidst rain at noon on Saturday. Those taking part in the rescue said they will need tarpaulin and other relevant materials to carry on their work in case it rains heavily again.
Meanwhile police were given remand on Saturday to question two factory owners and two engineers of the municipality who were arrested in connection with the tragedy.  read more. & read more.
wf-escenic-times  logo

_____update 01.15h.(LT)____

 * Dark underworld of Bangladesh’s clothes industry:

Bangladesh’s clothes industry has created its own distinctive landscape on the northern edges of the capital Dhaka.

From the sprawl of one-room houses and shacks where workers live, scores of multi-storey factory blocks jut into the sky. Clusters of steel-reinforcing rods poke from their rooftops – in the hope of adding yet another floor of sewing machines. It’s a sign of what critics say is a boom gone too far, in the desperation to feed the West’s appetite for bargain clothes.
The Rana Plaza which collapsed this week was another of these high-rise stitching stations, with the UK’s Primark chain one of its customers. Primark has said that it was “shocked and saddened” by the disaster and that it would work with other retailers to review standards.

But everyone involved in the industry is in the frame now – because it’s had plenty of warnings before.
It’s less than six months since a devastating fire at a plant that was making clothes for Walmart killed over 100 workers – Bangladesh’s last worst industrial accident. There had been some efforts to tighten up.  read  more.
Logo

* Govt can’t ignore responsibility for Savar tragedy: BBC Sanglap:

Two panelists at the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap (dialogue) here on Saturday categorically said the government must shoulder responsibility for the huge casualties in the Savar building collapse.

“The government agencies which approved the construction of the buildings must bear the responsibility for the tragic incident. The ministries looking after the RMG factories also can’t avoid the responsibility. The way the owners of the factories pushed the workers towards death, it can be called as killing,” said Dr Fahmida Khatun, a research director at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Taking part in the Sanglap, BNP standing committee member MK Anwar said the government and Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) must take the responsibility for the deaths of people in the building crash.
read more.

* BGMEA fund to help Savar victims:

Leaders of the country’s apex apparel bodies have decided to form a fund to help the victims of Savar building collapse and urged member units to contribute the fund within nest one week.

The decision came after an emergency meeting of the members of both Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to help rehabilitate the injured workers. “Each of the member units will have to contribute Tk 25,000 to the fund within next seven days which will be spent to help the injured and affected workers of Savar building collapse,” said the BGMEA second vice president SM Mannan Kochi while the briefing the journalist at BGMEA Bhaban on Saturday.
read more.
logo

20130428

* Savar Tragedy: Death toll now 355; 500 believed still missing:

The death toll from the disastrous building collapse here stood at 355 with the recovery of 25 more bodies from the debris of Rana Plaza on Saturday as the rescuers continued their operation.

The rescuers also recovered 26 people alive from the wreckage of the building today, sources at the Control Room opened here said. With the latest ones, they said, some 2426 people have been rescued alive since the complex collapsed on Wednesday.

They said the rescue operation was disrupted for half an hour this noon, causing sufferings to the victims’ relatives who had long been waiting at Adharchandra School ground in search of their near and dear ones.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

  banglanews24 Logo   

* Hopes fade for finding alive the missing:

As the rescue operation continues for more trapped victims of Savar tragedy from the rubble of infamous Rana Plaza, hopes fade for finding them still alive.

Till Saturday – the fourth day since the eight-storey Rana Plaza on the outskirts of Savar collapsed – over 1,000 people were still missing, according to several reports compiled by The Independent.

However, none of the government officials and voluntary organizations who have been working for the last four days at the site of the destroyed plaza in Savar could give an actual number of the missing.

Multiple local sources told The Independent correspondent that some 4,500 people were working at five garment factories housed on different levels of the plaza and other stores when tragedy struck on Wednesday morning.  read more.

logo

* Survivors recount their date with death:

Teenage girl Aoshi, a worker in a readymade garment factory housed in the collapsed building in Savar, saw seven-eight colleagues dying under the debris close to her.

In fact, having given up all hopes of survival, she had started preparing herself to embrace death, but the luck was on her side, and she survived.

Aoshi still can’t believe that she is alive. Sometimes she thinks her survival is untrue, a dream.

Number of people like Aoshi undergoing treatment at Savar’s Combined Military Hospital is quite large. According to the hospital’s information centre, until Saturday, 382 injured were admitted there. Of them, 21 died, 210 were released and 118 are still undergoing treatment.

Aoshi shared her terrible 36-hour experiences with bdnews24.com on Friday. “It seemed that I was in a hell. My whole body had stink of dead bodies. They were my colleagues only three days back. At one stage I gave up the hope for survival. Only God knows how I survived.”  read more.

wf-escenic-times

* Irate RMG workers clash in Dhaka, Chittagong:

Thousands of irate readymade garments (RMG) workers went berserk and clashed with law enforcement personnel in the capital, Savar, and in the port city of Chittagong, on Saturday.

Five people sustained bullet injuries and some 20 others were wounded, when police fired shots on agitating garment workers, near Rana Plaza at Savar, in the morning. The police said the trouble started at Bank Town near Rana Plaza around 9.30am, when a group of RMG workers, angered by the slow rescue operations in the building that had collapsed, tried to break through the police cordon.

Later, the law enforcement personnel fired some 50 rounds of rubber bullets and lobbed 20 teargas canisters to disperse them, injuring the five. read more.

logo

* Despite disasters, Bangladesh works for retailers:

The factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 300 people this week is a stark reminder of the risks in the global retail industry’s search for cheap production.

But there have been few signs that safety issues and other questionable labour conditions are sending shockwaves through the major Western retailers, their shareholders or the people who buy the clothes in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

Despite a series of accidents that have killed hundreds of people in recent months, dozens of major retailers and apparel makers continue to operate in Bangladesh.

The country ships about $15.6 billion of ready-made garments each year – about 80 percent of its total exports. Sixty percent of Bangladesh’s garment exports go to Europe; the United States takes 23 percent, and Canada takes 5 percent, according to data from Bangladesh’s commerce ministry and industry sources.

read more. & read more.

wf-escenic-times 

* Crack found in Manikganj RMG factory:

Cracks developed on the 4th floor of a newly built RMG factory building at Saturia of the district on Saturday.

Inspecting the building Saturia Upazila Norbahi Officer (UNO) Shahin Akhter sealed off the floor of the building.

Shahin Akhter told banglanews that she has sealed the 4th floor of newly built Tarashima Apparels of Nayadingi area of Saturia upazila as crack developed on the 4th floor.

Owner of the factory is an MP from Mymesingh Awami League.  to read.banglanews24 Logo

* HC verdict overlooked:

Despite a High Court order on Rajuk and municipal corporations to ensure construction of structures in line with approved designs and use of quality materials, they confine their role to approving designs only.

Following a writ petition, the HC on November 3, 2011 asked the government to set up a designated agency within a year to enforce the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC), a guideline for construction of buildings.

For the interim period, the HC bench designated the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and municipal corporations to enforce the BNBC and asked them to submit a report to the court every three months.

Three rights bodies — Safety and Rights Society, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, and Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation — had filed the writ petition on January 27, 2008 as public interest litigation.

Lawyer for the petitioners Tamim Hossain told The Daily Star that the government was yet to form any agency, while Rajuk or municipal corporations had not submitted any quarterly report to the HC.

Meanwhile, showing the excuse of manpower shortage, Rajuk has shirked its responsibility for ensuring the use of quality materials, leading to the construction of thousands of unsafe structures in many areas.

Union parishads and municipalities have been approving design plans for high-rises without having any qualified team of safety experts, architects, engineers or town planners, leaving scope for serious flaws in structures. read more.

daily star bd

* Use of substandard building materials main reason: minister:

Disaster management and relief minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali on Saturday said use of substandard construction materials was the main reason for the collapse of the nine-storey Rana Plaza at Savar.

He also said the collapsed building might have been constructed in a wetland and the authorities that issued the clearance for constructing the building there must be held responsible.

‘This is a man-made disaster…[Use of] substandard building materials was the main reason for the collapse of the building probably constructed in a wetland,’ the diplomat turned minister said while addressing his first ever press conference on ‘Savar tragedy’ held three days after the incident.  read more.

* Relocate garments industries outside Dhaka:

The garments sector is the most important industry in Bangladesh in terms of earning foreign exchanges and employment generation.

But tragedies, occurring one after another in quick succession, are a sad pointer to the little attention that the government pays to this essentially important sector of the economy.

While garments industries are privately owned, it is the duty of the government to ensure a safe, healthy environment, including the basic infrastructures, of this key sector.  read more.

* Rana still at large:

The police arrested eight people till Sunday in connection with the deadly building collapse at Savar, but could not hunt down the prime accused Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza and a local leader of Juba League, four days after the tragedy that took a staggering toll on human lives on Wednesday.

The police said they continued the hunt for Sohel Rana who went into hiding after the building collapse.  read more.

* Immediate trial of Rana Plaza owner demanded:

Garment workers demonstrated in the Chittagong EPZ gate for two hours on Saturday morning demanding the highest punishment to the owner of Rana Plaza at Savar.

Police said several hundred agitated workers of different garment factories from CEPZ laid siege to the Airport Road at the entrance of the export processing zone from 9.00 am. Hundreds of transports with commuters and cargo were stranded on both sides till 11.00 am when they left the place after police had talked and could dissuade them.  to read.

* Not over yet:

For four days, Poppy has been waiting with a photo of her mother Sonali Begum who worked in one of the garment factories in Rana Plaza.

At Adhar Chandra High School, she runs towards ambulances every time they bring in a body. Her mother-in-law died in the building collapse and everyone with her has gone to Dinajpur for the funeral but Poppy in tears waits for her mother. Photo: Amran Hossain

As frantic efforts continue to rescue more survivors trapped inside the collapsed building in Savar, unnumbered decomposed corpses remain sandwiched between concrete slabs and strewn in the inaccessible corners of bottom floors.

The rescuers comprising firefighters, untrained local volunteers, army men and others are preparing to remove massive piles of rubbles with heavy machinery once they decide there is no single survivor left.

Strong stench of those ill-fated garment workers has made the air unbearably foul all around the disaster site at Savar Bazar by Dhaka-Aricha highway.  read more.

daily star bd

* Getting ready for death:

All the time, she lived in a cycle of fear, hope and despair and when that seemed an eternity, she waited for death.

Nineteen-year-old Merina Khatun says she passed out several times in 66 hours at the mangled wreckage of Rana Plaza in Savar and cannot recall how she was finally rescued.

Discovering herself in an ambulance, she looked around, bewildered at how she had come into that state but soon relaxed finding her sister in the hospital. Both Merina and her sister Shirina Begum used to work at Phantom Apparels Ltd on the third floor of the building.

“We are lucky to be back from death,” Marina says.

She had seven other companions — four women and three men — in a crammed space with debris all around.  read more.

daily star bd

* A true hero:

Amongst the despair of the tangled concrete slabs that was once Rana Plaza, there are rescuers about whom the description of hero is no exaggeration.

One such person is Didar Hossain.

Didar is an apparel worker employed at the factory Al Muslim next to the eight-floor Rana Plaza which on Wednesday morning at collapsed to the ground.

‘I heard a big noise from outside and we looked out and saw lots of dust,’ he told New Age. ‘We rushed out of the building. Initially, the gatekeeper would not allow us out. So we had to push the man aside.’  read more.

* Savar tragedy is a fresh blow to economy: Atiur:

After a series of shutdowns and incidents of political violence, the Savar tragedy deals yet another blow to the economy, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman said yesterday.

“The irreparable losses to the garment sector caused by some irresponsible and greedy people cannot be accepted,” he said.

Rahman spoke at a function to unveil a bunch of initiatives that the central bank has taken for banking sector automation and financial inclusion in the last four years.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith was also present at the function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.  read more. & read more.

daily star bd 

* The Economist terms it outcome of corrupt workplace practices:

The weekly Economist published from London termed the collapse of the Rana Plaza at Savar as the latest manifestation of a flourishing and corrupt system of workplace practices that has the effect of keeping prices low on Western high streets at the cost of putting faraway lives at risk.

The tragedy is the latest in a string of disasters to befall Bangladesh’s $ 20 billion garment sector, which is projected to overtake China’s, said the weekly in an analysis published Thursday.

It said Bangladesh was set to become the world’s largest apparel exporter over the next few years. Only five months earlier at least 112 workers died in a hellish blaze in the Tazreen garment factory. That fire also shocked many onlookers, but it surprised few.

The people who bear those risks live and work in a country where their deaths carry pitifully small consequences for employers or, it would seem, for the state. The government says it will pay the equivalent of $ 250 in compensation to each family who lost a relative in the collapse at Savar, the analysis said.  read more.

* Apparel workers continue protests:

Apparel workers held violent demonstrations in Dhaka, Savar, Ashulia and Chittagong for the fourth day in a row on Saturday demanding punishment to those responsible for Wednesday’s factory building collapse which killed over 300 of their colleagues at Savar.

At Savar, at least 50 workers were injured and eight of them suffered bullet injuries, as the police charged baton, fired rubber bullets and tear shells to disperse the protesters.

The protesters were marching towards the collapsed nine-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five readymade apparel factories.

The protesters vandalized vehicles and put up road blockades, the police said.

Thousands of workers held demonstrations at different parts of Savar including Ulail, Hemayetpur, Fulbaria, Banktown, Bankcolony and in the Savar municipal town in the morning.  read more.

* Garment workers remain restive:

RMG workers yesterday went on the rampage at four different places across the country following the deaths of fellow workers in Savar building collapse.

The angry protesters clashed with police, torched and vandalised vehicles, and put blockades on roads in Savar, Dhaka, Gazipur and Chittagong.

They also damaged various factories and shops, demanding punishment to the owner of Rana Plaza and the owners of RMG units housed in that ill-fated building which collapsed on April 24.

In Savar, at least 20 garment workers were injured as the agitating workers were locked into clashes with police on Dhaka-Aricha highway at Ulail and Phulbari.

read more.

daily star bd

* Owners, govt inaction blamed for accidents in RMG sector:

Speakers at a BBC Sanglap on Saturday blamed the owners of Rana Plaza and the garment factories housed in it as well as government oversight agencies for Wednesday’s tragic incident that left at least 340 people dead as on Saturday evening, with several hundred still feared to be trapped in the rubble.

 

The panellists of the dialogue held at the city’s BIAM auditorium also blamed what they said were the total lack of governance in the country and successive governments’ reluctance to bring to book the people responsible for previous garment factory mishaps that left hundreds of workers dead.  read more.

* Rana Plaza victims can file cases for damages: Shafique:

Law minister Shafique Ahmed on Saturday said that workers could file cases against collapsed Rana Plaza authorities and owners of five clothing factories seeking damages and the government would provide free legal assistance in such cases.    

The minister also said that the government had already opened a cell to offer free legal assistance to the workers and requested them to contact from May 2 the National Legal Aid Services Organisation on Bailey Road in the capital.

‘Legal aid is necessary in the current situation. The organisation will give free legal assistance to the workers, who will be sacked without reason or deprived of their dues by owners,’ Shafique said at a press conference on the eve of National Legal Aid Day to be  observed  today.  read more.

* Survived at a price-  Their limbs amputated, future blurred out:

Shapla stared at her left hand in disbelief. Her arm below the elbow was gone. Everything looked blurry, including her future.

“I have destroyed my only son’s future,” the 22-year-old moaned in fear of the gloomy days ahead, as she thought of the future looking at her amputated hand.

As she lay on a bed at the Orthopaedic Hospital, the hapless garment worker blamed herself for not heeding her husband and neighbours’ advice not to go to work on Wednesday.

“The purpose of my whole life was only to work and save enough money to provide a good education for my son.”

Shapla and her husband, Mehedi Hasan, were both machine operators on the second floor of the nine-storey Rana Plaza. They were separated when the building started to collapse.  read more.

daily star bd

* Pathetic! :

A number of the trapped people drank their urine only to stay alive under the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.

Having interviewed some of the survivors, the FE found that they even tried to eat one another’s flesh during their confinement for more than 65 hours because of the catastrophe.

“Look at the injury marks on the left side of my waist: one of my colleagues, Kajol Begum, bit here to get rid of her starvation as we remained unfed for about three days,” said Merina, who worked on the fourth floor of the building.

Lying on Free Bed No 501 of Enam Medical College Hospital, she said nine workers, including five females, were trapped at the tiny space under the collapsed structure.

“There was no food, no water and no light. We could not even see one another after the charge of our cell phones finished. We could just listen,” said the 26-year-old sewer, who worked for Phantom Apparels of the building.

She started crying before she could start afresh.  read more.

* Tragedy exaggerated? :

Garment-makers blame media; want punishment to building owners, engineers; silent over factory owners

 

The Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday demanded punishment of the owners and engineers of Rana Plaza, which collapsed on Wednesday morning.

“The ones involved in construction work should be punished,” SM Mannan Kochi, vice-president of BGMEA, said at a press briefing following an extra-ordinary general meeting (EGM) called by the BGMEA and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

In the aftermath of the building collapse that have so far killed 346 and injured 2,429, BGMEA and BKMEA asked all factory owners to check their buildings’ structural designs and load capacity immediately and submit a report to the BGMEA, according to Kochi.

“We will cancel the licence should any one fail to submit the report,” he said.

There was, however, no mention of any punishment for the factory owners, who forced the workers back to the production lines despite cracks surfacing on the building the previous day.

A major part of the meeting, it was learnt, involved discussing the role of media, who they blamed for “exaggerating” the Savar tragedy.  read more.

* Different aspects of the ‘Savar’ tragedy : Where do we stand? :

A national calamity of a very serious proportion has befallen Bangladesh. It has been more than a bolt from the blue when a high-rise building at Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, collapsed like a pack of cards the other day.

The death toll has reached several hundreds while the figure has continued to increase with the passage of every day. More alarmingly, hundreds of people are still trapped in the debris even though many have been saved thorough frenetic efforts by different agencies and the people.

The air in the site is still ranting with the cries of the wailing crowd desperately looking for their near and dear ones, missing in the aftermath of the catastrophe. Many dead bodies have been handed over to the relatives while allout efforts are continuing to trace the missing ones, particularly to salvage those trapped in the ruins and debris of the collapsed building, from awfully difficult conditions.

Indeed, this is a Herculean task; all concerned are sparing no efforts in rescue operations.  read more.

* Savar building collapse a man-made disaster:

‘Just I heard a sound and the building collapsed. Allah saved me miraculously. Having been saved, I myself rescued three people alive cutting the grill but many people are still inside the collapsed building’, said a garment worker while he was describing the tragedy losing his one leg.

Another woman claimed that she talked to her son over phone till morning. “My son was imploring me frequently to save him but now he is not responding although his cell phone is active,” she said crying.

The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which is located beside the Savar bus stand, collapsed at 9 am on Wednesday morning. According to the media report, at least more than 300 dead bodies were retrieved from the debris and two thousand were injured in this incident. Moreover, many people are still trapped under the building. The armed forces, the Fire Brigade, the civil defense authority and local people have launched a massive rescue operation.  read more.

_____update 13.05h.(LT)____

* 1 rescued alive –  9 more survivors spotted:

A victim trapped inside the rubble of Savar collapsed building was pulled out alive as 20 more bodies were recovered Sunday morning, 99 hours after the nine-storey building collapse.

The death toll now stands 364.

The survivor was rescued from the third floor of the nine-storey building at 12:10am.Meanwhile, the rescue workers found nine more people alive under the rubble of collapsed Rana Plaza.

The workers were trying to rescue them till filing of this report at 12:20pm.

“We will try to rescue the nine survivors manually at first. If we fail, we will use powerful cranes to lift concrete slabs to pull them out alive,” said Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardi, general officer commanding of Nine Infantry Division.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd    wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo 

* Savar tragedy: Heavy equipment to be used for conducting rescue drive:

20130428 BDNEWS24

The Rescue Operation Coordination Committee on Sunday decided to start operation using heavy equipment to rescue those still remained trapped inside the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar.

‘”We’ve decided to use heavy equipment, including hydrolic cranes to rescue the trapped people,” Major General Hasan Chowdhury Suhrawardi, chairman of the Rescue Operation Coordination Committee and also the GOC of 9 Infantry Division, said while briefing the media in front of the collapsed building.

He said, “We’ve stopped the manual rescue operation and the rescuers have already been removed from inside the collapsed building. We’ll be able to rescue the people who are alive using hydrolic cranes, cutting equipment and different other tools.”

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  BSS  wf-escenic-times banglanews24 Logo logo

* PM visits Orthopedic Hospital to see victims of Savar tagedy:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the Orthopedic Hospital here today (Sunday) to enquire about the condition of the Rana Plaza building collapse victims undergoing treatment at the hospital.

She talked to the injured persons and the doctors of the hospital.

Hasina directed the doctors and others concerned to ensure complete treatment of the 48 victims of the Savar Rana Plaza victims.

She donated Tk 10,000 and a saree/lungi to each victim of the Savar tragedy, now under treatment at the Orthopedic Hospital.

read more. & read more.  & read more. & read more.

  BSS  wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo

* PM reassures treatment costs for injured victims:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday reassured the family members of injured Savar victims that the government will bear the expenses of their treatment.

At least 365 people were killed and several thousands injured as Rana Plaza, a nine-storey building housing five readymade garment factories on its top floors, caved in on Wednesday. read more.

daily star bd

 

_____update 16.30h.(LT)____

* Building owner held in Benapole:

Sohel Rana, owner of nine-storey Savar building that collapsed on Wednesday, has been arrested at Benapole in Jessore Sunday afternoon.

A team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested Rana around 3:05pm Sunday, five days after the deadly collapse of Rana Plaza, that killed at least 369 people so far, reported our Jessore correspondent.

“Sohel Rana was arrested in Benapole five minutes ago,” State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak told reporters in Savar, site of the Rana Plaza, around 3:10pm.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd    BSS wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo

* Death toll now 369:

The death toll from the Savar building collapse has risen to 369 as rescue workers recovered 25 more bodies from beneath the rubble of the nine-storey building on Sunday.

Md Zillur Rahman Chowdhury, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka district, confirmed the death toll.

Of the total, 313 bodies were handed over to their relatives, 54 were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Mitford Hospital and two others were kept at Savar Adharchandra High School, Zillur said.

The rescue workers have rescued four survivors from the third floor of the shattered building in the afternoon.

So far, total 2,440 people trapped inside the collapsed building have been rescued.

read more. & read more.

daily star bd

* Rescue at Rana Plaza: Civilians on the forefront:

Though the time is running out fast, the hope for saving lives was still burning bright in the eyes of the rescuers of the Rana Plaza victims. It was about 2:30 am on Sunday.

Many workers were still alive in the debris on the lower floors of the building and the tireless rescuers are determined to save every one of them.

It was the civilians who outdid the men in uniform in courage, going deep down the recently drilled out holes through the top six-floors of Rana Plaza at Savar.

read more.

* BGMEA Bhaban besieged:

Hundreds of agitated readymade garments workers, students and teachers besieged the office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in capital’s Karwanbazar on Sunday noon.

They besieged the building as a part of their pre-declared programme under banner of Students, Teachers, Workers and Professional people and Democratic Garment Forum.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Injured to get TK 10,000 monthly: PM:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government would take steps for rehabilitation of injured and families of the deceased in Savar building collapse.

“When visited to Pangu hospital, I saw many injured who lost their hands and legs in the building collapse. We will take steps to provide them TK 10,000 per month,” she added. read more.

banglanews24 Logo

_____update 19.00h.(LT)____

* Rescuers find little rhythm of life under concrete ruins:

Rescuers today prepare to launch the second phase of the salvage campaigns as they found little rhythm or pulses of life under tonnes of rubbles retrieving alive 2,443 people and retrieving 367 bodies since an eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed four days ago.

“I would like to tell you, we are getting little rhythm of life under the debris . . . even if some people are alive they are not responding,” commander of the salvage campaign Major General Hassan Sarwardy told newsmen near the collapse site at suburban Savar.

Emerging from a coordination meeting of the rescue agencies, he said rescuers were asked to come out from inside the debris shortly as they were exhausting their efforts to rescue alive the last nine people who were found alive under the concrete rubble of illegally built Rana Plaza.  read more.

BSS

* Survivors found under Bangladesh factory ruin:

Bangladesh rescuers have located nine people alive inside the rubble of a multi-story building that collapsed five days ago, as authorities announced they will now use heavy equipment to drill a central hole from the top to look for survivors and dead bodies.

On Sunday, at least 362 people were confirmed dead in the collapse of the eight-storey building that housed five garment factories. The death toll is expected to rise further, but it is already the deadliest tragedy to hit Bangladesh’s garment industry, which is worth $20 billion annually and a mainstay of the economy.

Officials said that they had arrested Sohel Rana, the owner of the garment factory block that collapsed, on Sunday as he was attempting to flee to India.

Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, the coordinator of the rescue operations and a major-general in the army, said they will try to save the nine people first by manually shifting concrete blocks with the help of light equipment such as pick axes and shovels.  read more.

aljazeera

* Death toll rises to 373:

At least 373 garments workers have been found dead and thousands others injured as an 8-storied building–Rana Plaza–collapsed in Savar bus stand area of Dhaka on Wednesday morning.

The rescue team identified some 348 bodies and handed over to family and relatives till 03:55pm Sunday.

Death toll may rise as many others were still trapped in the collapsed building. Police and hospital sources confirmed the matter to banglanews.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* BB asked to freeze building, factory owners’ accounts:

The High Court on Sunday directed the Bangladesh Bank authorities to freeze the bank accounts of the Savar building owner and proprietors of five garment factories housed in Rana Plaza.

The court also directed the authorities concerned to pay the salaries and other benefits of workers from their accounts of the six under the supervision of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

The HC also asked four high officials of the government including deputy inspector general of industrial police to appear before it by April 30 to explain their role in connection with the building collapse.  read more. & read more.

daily star bd   BSS

* Left parties call off May 2 hartal:

Left parties have withdrawn their May 2 countrywide shutdown as the BNP-led 18-party alliance has called hartal for the same day protesting the deaths in Savar building collapse.

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) and Ganatantrik Bam Morcha on Sunday called off the hartal a day after announcing the programme on the same issue.

The left parties came up with the decision apprehending that the alliance activists may carry out violence centring the hartal and shift the blame on them.

read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd    logo

* Don’t try to cash in Savar incident: PM:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today made a fervent call to the opposition to refrain from calling hartal and destructive activities to cash in the tragic Savar incident.

“It’s time for saving the lives of people.. It’s time to extend hand for rescue operation and at least support the rescuers. It’s not time for hartal, destroying transports and swoop attack on mills and factories,” she said.  read more.

BSS

* Rana flown to Dhaka:

Sohel Rana, the owner of the nine-storey Savar building that collapsed four days ago, has been brought to Dhaka Sunday afternoon by a helicopter couple of hours into his arrest in Benapole, Jessore district.

The helicopter of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) landed at Tejgaon old airport around 5:00pm from where he was taken to the headquarters of the elite force at Uttara.

A Rab team arrested Rana around 3:05pm at his friend’s residence in Ball Field area, reported our Jessore correspondent.  read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd    wf-escenic-times logo

* Savar Tragedy: Phantom owner Aminul placed on 11-day remand:

A Dhaka court on Sunday placed Aminul Islam, chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd and Phantom Tek Ltd, on 11 days’ remand in two cases filed in connection with the Rana Plaza collapse.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Wasim Sheikh passed the order when Savar thana police produced him before his court seeking remand for him.

Sub-inspector Mohammad Kaisar Matabbar, also the investigation officer of the cases, produced Aminul before the court seeking seven days’ remand in each of the cases. On the other hand, his lawyer Mohammad Sirajul Islam filed a bail petition.

read more. & read more. & read more.

  wf-escenic-times   logo

* Cracks on 4-storey commercial building in Narayanganj:

Around 2,000 people have been evacuated from a four-storey commercial building in Narayanganj city as several cracks developed there Sunday afternoon.

The building, located at Deobhog area, houses nearly 200 tailor shops and other shops including departmental stores, reported our Narayanganj correspondent.

Panic gripped the people working in the tailor shops and its adjacent others when they found cracks on the building Sunday morning quoting Manjur Kader, officer-in-charge of Narayanganj Sadar Police Station.  read more.  & read more.

daily star bd  wf-escenic-times

* Rana Plaza Collapse: PM likely to visit Savar to see rescue operation:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to visit Savar tomorrow (Monday) morning to see the operation to rescue the victims of eight-storey Rana Plaza collapse.

She will also visit Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar to enquire about the treatment of the injured persons admitted there after they were rescued from the Rana Plaza site.  read more. & read more.

logo

_____update 01.30h.(LT)____

* Savar tragedy toll hits 371:

Rescue operation with heavy equipment to begin soon

 

The death toll from the horrific building collapse at Savar reached 371 with the recovery of several more bodies from the ruins on Sunday as the search for the survivors goes on.

Director of Inter-Services Public Relations M Shaheenul Islam at a press briefing at the spot around 5:15 pm said the second phase of rescue operation with heavy equipment to rescue the trapped people who are still alive would begin soon.

The rescue operation was being conducted under the manual system since the Rana Plaza caved in on Wednesday morning. “But from now on, the rescue operation will be conducted under the equipment and evacuation system,” he said.

read more. & read more.

 

* Sohel Rana held 4 days after tragedy- faces life term if found guilty:

He forced workers to work in his abandoned building: Rab DG

Four days after the Savar tragedy, members of elite force Rab arrested Sohel Rana, the owner of the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar, from Benapole in Jessore on Sunday, foiling his bid to flee to India.

From Jessore, Rana was flown in Tejgaon Airport (Old) in Dhaka around 5pm by a Rab helicopter.    He was later taken to the Rab headquarters in Uttara around 5.30pm and produced him before the media with valuables and two bottles of Phensidyl recovered from his possession.

Briefing reporters about Rana’s arrest, Director General of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) Moklesur Rahman said a Rab team from Dhaka flown to Beanpole by a helicopter on information that Rana might flee to India through Benapole border, and tracked him down.

read more. & read more.& read more.& read more. & read more.

  daily star bd   wf-escenic-times  logo 

* Man behind 377 deaths captured:

Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza that collapsed on Wednesday leaving at least 377 dead and scores injured, was arrested from Benapole in Jessore yesterday afternoon after being on the run for five days.

Rana went to Benapole in efforts to cross the border without a passport. He was hiding at a human trafficker’s house in Ball Field area, about 0.5 kilometres from the Indian border, Rab said.

In Savar yesterday, as soon as the news of the arrest was announced by Jahangir Kabir Nanak, state minister for LGRD and cooperatives, over a loudspeaker in front of the collapsed Rana Plaza, locals burst into cheers.  read more.

daily star bd

* Probe body asks AC (land) to hand in Rana Plaza’s land documents:

A home ministry committee probing Wednesday’s Rana Plaza tragedy at Savar has asked the local assistant commissioner (land) to hand in to it the land documents of the collapsed multi-storied building, which housed five apparel factories, a busy shopping mall and a bank branch.

At its first meeting at the secretariat on Sunday the committee worked out the modalities of the investigation, said officials.

‘We have sought the land-related documents of the collapsed building from Savar AC (land) to ascertain who owned the piece of land on which the multi-storied Rana Plaza was built,’ the probe committee chief, additional secretary Main Uddin Khondaker, told New Age on Sunday.   read more.

* Rescuers defer 2nd phase for more survivors:

Bangladesh today deferred for hours their second phase salvage campaigns to remove rubbles of eight-storey building using heavy cranes and dozers as rescuers said they were trying to retrieve alive manually the last few survivors.

“The second phase of the salvage campaign was halted for hours as it could endanger the last few survivers under the tonnes of rubbles . . . we will go for mechanical methods as soon as the last (manual) efforts to retrieve them are exhausted,” a fire service official told newsmen at the scene.

His comments came as a rescue worker in a voice choked with emotion

described the newsmen how a young girl appealed to him for retrieval saying “she was repeatedly telling me, don’t leave me brother”. read more.

BSS

* Muhith stresses conducting surveys on RMG factories:

Observing that RMG industries have sprung up in the country like mushrooms over the past 30 years, Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Sunday suggested conducting surveys on the factories to review their overall conditions, including their building designs and fire safety measures.

“Apart from the BGMEA and the BKMEA, the government should also have to take steps to conduct such surveys to pinpoint the shortcomings …because this is important for the whole industry and also for the safety of workers,” he said.

The Finance Minister was talking to reporters after a delegation of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) met him at his secretariat office. REHAB president Nasrul Hamid Bipu led the delegation.  read more.

* Workers continue agitation over Savar tragedy:

Garment workers demonstrate with sticks in their hands at Genda in Savar area on the outskirts of the capital yesterday demanding trial of those responsible for the death of labourers in Rana Plaza building collapse in the area on Wednesday. Photo: Star

Garment workers blockaded Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Gazipur for one and a half hours on Sunday demanding capital punishment to the owners of Rana Plaza and other RMG units housed in the ill-fated building that collapsed on April 24.

The workers, who vandalised two passenger buses on the highway, also demanded immediate resignation of Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir for his derogatory comment over the building collapse, reports our Gazipur correspondent quoting police.

Over 3,000 agitated workers put barricades at different points from Bhabanipur to Rajendrapur around 11:00am, creating a six-kilometre tailback on both sides of the highway, said Rafiqul Islam, a sub-inspector of Hotapara Highway Police in Gazipur.

read more. & read more.

daily star bd  daily star bd

* Workers block Dhaka-Mymensingh highway:

At least five workers were injured in a clash between workers and police during a road barricade on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Hotapara in Sadar upazila on Sunday.

Police said several hundred workers of several ceramic, food and tiles factories aided by garment workers blocked the highway at the point at about 10:30am, demanding punishment of the owners of Rana Plaza and garment factories for the building collapse in Savar.  read more.

* Apparel workers run riot:

Hundreds of apparel workers damaged factories and vehicles and had blocked the Dhaka–Mymensingh Highway for about three hours at Hotapara in the Gazipur district headquarters.

At least 10 people were injured as the police charged at them with truncheons fired teargas shells and blank shots to disperse them from the highway.

The workers demanded the arrest and punishment of owners of Rana

Plaza and the clothing factories that were housed in the building, which collapsed on Wednesday morning, leaving about 400 dead by Sunday evening. The workers held protests for the third day on Sunday.

The workers damaged FuWang Ceramics, Sunflower Food and Ceramics and Galaxy Ceramics factories about 11:00am, the police and witnesses said. They also damaged some vehicles.

The workers were demanding closure of the ceramics factories for the day, Hotapara police outpost subinspector Rafiqul Islam said. Traffic on the highway resumed about 12:30am.  to read.

* Punish Savar UNO, demand RMG workers:

Apparel workers have demanded punishment of Savar upazila nirbahi officer M Kabir Hossain Sarder, who assured that ‘the building is safe for the workers’ about 13 hours before the country’s deadliest building collapse.

Several hundred apparel workers on Sunday took out a procession near the collapsed building at Savar, chanting slogans against the building owner, Sohel Rana, and UNO Kabir Hossain.

The protesters demanded capital punishment for both Sohel and Kabir as they ‘had manipulated them into returning to work in danger’.  read more.

* Savar Tragedy: Death toll now 397:

The death toll from the collapsed building in Savar jumped to 397 on Sunday.

Of the total bodies, 346 were handed over to the victims’ families.

2440 people have been rescued alive till now.

The rescuers also recovered four people alive from the ruins of the building early Sunday.

“Heavy equipments will now use carefully from mid-day today to rescue trapped alive inside the collapsed building”, said General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Savar Cantonment Major General Chowdhury Hasan, today at a press briefing.

The building, ‘Rana Plaza’, which developed cracks on Tuesday morning, collapsed after a big bang around 9.00 am on Wednesday.  to read.

logo

* World leaders mourn Savar Tragedy:

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V Putin, Premier of the State Council of People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang, President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea Yun Byung-se and Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Lee Yun-young, expressed deepest condolence in separate messages over the loss of lives in Savar tragedy.

In their messages, they conveyed their sincere condolence and sympathy as well as solidarity with the bereaved families of all the victims in Savar tragedy.

The European Commission expressed their readiness to assist the government of Bangladesh particularly by supporting the current efforts to reinforce safety standards in commercial buildings.

to read. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo   

* Building, garment owners responsible for Savar tragedy: Probe body chief:

The Home ministry inquiry committee, formed to investigate the Savar tragedy, in its preliminary investigation, found the owners of Rana Plaza and the garment factories housed in the huge complex responsible for the dreadful incident.

Talking to UNB, Mainuddin Khandokar, the head of the probe body formed by the Home Ministry, said “The owner of the Rana Plaza set up the building by violating the Building Code and using his political clout.”

“The owners of the building and garment factories forced the workers to work in the building on the fateful day though the cracks had appeared in it two days ago. It’s not an accident as it happened due to their negligence,” he said after conducting a two-day inquiry into the incident.

read more. & read more. & read more.

  logo newstodayBD

* 2 Savar Municipality engineers suspended:

The government has suspended Savar Municipality executive engineer Imtemam Hossain and assistant engineer M Alam Mia.

The Local Government Division issued an order in this regard on Sunday.

The order said action was taken against the two engineers under section 46(4) of the Municipality Employees Service Rules-1992 as they were arrested in connection with the collapse of Rana Plaza under Savar Municipality.  to read.

* Factory watch just farcical:

51 inspectors for monitoring two lakh factories

The government’s department tasked with enforcement of laws to ensure safety of workers cannot perform its functions properly due to acute crisis of manpower and logistics.

The Department of Inspection for factories and establishment under the labour and employment ministry is supposed to oversee more than two lakh factories including over 5,000 readymade garment factories and establishments countrywide, insiders say.

The department has only 51 inspectors to do the massive task. Another 52 approved posts for inspectors remain vacant for long, they add.

“It is just an eyewash what we do in the name of inspection,” a senior official of the department told The Daily Star on condition of anonymity.  read more.

daily star bd

* Factories to remain open from Monday: BGMEA:

President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Atiqul Islam on Sunday urged the garment workers to join their works to protect the country’s RMG sector.

“Garment factories will remain open from tomorrow (Monday)… the factories must remain operational in the greater interest of the nation and the country’s economy. I request all the garment workers to maintain discipline and join their works,” he told a press conference at BGMEA Bhaban in the evening.

He said the BGMEA has already formed a nine-member probe body, led by its second vice president, to probe the Savar building collapse and the committee has been asked to submit its report within the next 10 days. read more. & read more.

  daily star bd

* ‘Benetton’ clothes at Bangladesh site:

Shirts with Benetton labels have been found in the wreckage of a garment factory block in Bangladesh where 376 people died.

However, the Italian group denies it used a supplier there.

Blue shirts labelled “United Colors of Benetton” were photographed by AFP at the scene where the manufacturer New Wave Bottoms was based.

New Wave Bottoms lists Benetton as a client on its website.

When asked about its links, the fashion label stated last week that “people involved in the collapse of the factory in Bangladesh were not Benetton Group’s suppliers.”

But AFP has received copies of production documents appearing to show an order by Benetton from September last year for nearly 30,000 items. These documents were submitted to Benetton for comment, but it did not reply to repeated emails.

read more.

AUSTRALIENnews

 * Factories evacuated:

Workers and machineries were evacuated from a four-storey building on Sunday afternoon after it tilted aside in the capital’s Benarashi Palli at Mirpur.

Located at Block-C of Section-11, the building tilted towards the western side developing cracks at different places of the walls of two adjacent one-storey buildings.

Two shoe factories were housed on the ground and first floor while two garments units on the second and third floor of the building constructed on a small piece of land.

“Soon after we could know about it, we sealed it off by evacuating all the workers and machineries from it considering their safety,” said Imtiaz Ahmed, deputy commissioner (Mirpur division).

He said the owner of the building Bhutto Miah has gone into hiding.

read more.

daily star bd

* PM’s Relief Fund receives Tk 1.5cr more for Savar victims:

Bsic Bank Ltd on Sunday donated Tk 1.5 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the Savar building collapse victims.

Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu, chairman of the bank, handed over a cheque for the amount to the Prime Minister at her official residence Ganobhaban in the evening, PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad said. to read.

* Another Rana Plaza RMG unit owner held:

Detectives arrested owner of a garment factory housed in Rana Plaza from capital’s Ramna area Sunday four days after the deadly collapse of the building.

Dhaka district Detective branch of police arrested Anisur Rahman, Chairman of Ether Tex, around 9:45pm, Masudur Rahman, DC of Dhaka Metropolitan Police told The Daily Star.

Earlier on Saturday, police arrested two owners of garment factories housed in the Rana Plan.  to read.& read more.

daily star bd  wf-escenic-times

* Corruption caused Rana Plaza to collapse, say JS panel chairs:

The chairmen of parliamentary standing committees at a pre-budget discussion with finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith at the secretariat on Sunday named corruption as the cause of Wednesday’s tragic building collapse at Savar.

They said incidents like the Rana Plaza collapse would be recurring, if the pervasive corruption could not be eliminated.

They recommended tough government action for tackling corruption as Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza, took recourse to illegal means to construct the building that housed five garment factories.  read more.

* Confusion over deaths, missing:

The death toll in the worst building collapse was revised down on Sunday.

Savar police Inspector Aminur Rahman put the count in Wednesday’s Rana Plaza collapse at 377 at around 3pm. He earlier had said the figure was 397.

“There was some mistake in the count,” the police officer in charge at the Adhar Chandra School – the place where bodies were being kept – said.

He added a total of 320 bodies were handed over to the relatives and 57 more, awaiting recognition, were sent to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital and Mitford Hospital.

Similar ‘confusions’ were also looming over the number of people stilling missing.

Although, authorities earlier said the number is 1168, Sub-Inspector Abdul Alim said they were not being able to count the number properly at this moment due to “lack of time.”  read more.

wf-escenic-times

* Savar disaster relief needs close monitoring:

The deaths of about 350 people and injury of about 2000 others in the collapse of the eight-storied Rana Plaza building in Savar, point not only to the threat of similar accidents but also to inadequacy of preparedness to face such disasters.

 

Witness accounts of the rescue operations indicate that the fire service-civil defence and army personnel from the 9th Division located nearby rushed there soon after the Wednesday morning collapse of the building causing the deaths and making the trapped ones scream for saving their lives, the rescuers were not adequately equipped to do the job.

People who rushed from the vicinity joined them voluntarily lending helping hands to the fire service and army personnel. It was however not until the arrival of the engineering corps of the army – which had heavy equipment to do the job – late in the same afternoon that more systematic rescue work began.  read more.

Logo

* BGMEA pledges wages this week:

BGMEA and BKMEA- two apex trade body for apparel and knitwear manufacturers in joint emergency meeting on Saturday have decided to pay wages and other benefits of five factories of Rana Plaza within in a week.

They also made an appealed to the nation and the labour organizations for cooperation to keep the thousands garments factories in Dhaka and Chittagong running from Monday.

“Total garment industry and the image of the country has fallen victim of image crisis globally from the accident and keeping factories closed will add more to such crisis,” they said in a press briefing after holding the meeting of the two trade bodies.

They urged the government and the oppositions to cooperate in promoting safety and security in the garments factories, its workers and transports, which carry the merchandise to and from the port.

They demanded immediate arrest of the owner of the building along with the engineers, who were responsible to issue permission to construct

the structure badly. They urged the factory owners of the building to surrender to the court soon. read more.

Logo

* BGMEA in Ctg seeks security of garment workers:

Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in Chittagong stressed on the security of the garment workers in Chittagong. The BGMEA organised a discussion  meeting and milad mahfil  on the tragic accident at Rana Plaza  at  Savar Sunday afternoon.

The programme was held at the conference room of BGMEA Bhaban.

The meeting was presided over by its First Vice-President Mohammed Nasir Uddin.

Nasir Uddin said, “All owner should take necessary steps for the security of the workers. From now, all owners are requested to present at the factories and ensure the security of the workers to avoid unwanted pathetic accidents like Savar in Dhaka.” read more.

logo

* BGMEA and ‘image crisis’:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has demanded punishment to the owners and engineers of Rana Plaza against the background of the collapse of the nine-storey building in Savar. The sentiment is appreciated.

It means to have owners of garment factories ensure structural security of their enterprises and submit reports to it to this end, failing which the BGMEA will move to cancel the licences of errant garment firms. This sentiment too is appreciated.

What worries the public, though, is the ire expressed by BGMEA members at an extraordinary general meeting on Saturday regarding the role of the media in the aftermath of the Savar tragedy.

The media, so believe these garment factory owners, have been exaggerating the tragedy through constantly uploading graphic images of the accident and thereby creating an image crisis for the industry in the global arena. What exaggeration? What graphic images? What image crisis?

read more.  & read more.

daily star bd 

* RMG makers to sit with buyers today to discuss Savar tragedy:

Leading apparel makers will sit with the buyers’ representatives today (Monday) to discuss the prevailing situation following the Savar industrial tragedy and find out ways to restore the image badly affected by the deadliest incident, the industry insiders said.

The collapse of a multi-storey building at Savar five days ago that has so far left more than 350 people dead, most of them garment workers, and several hundred others injured, attracted serious attention from international quarters, including the global apparel buyers.  read more.

* Owners fear unrest as factories reopen today:

Worried garment manufacturers are in a dilemma, as RMG units are set to reopen today (Monday) after two days of closure in fear of further workers’ unrest, industry leaders said.

Earlier, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) suspended production in the factories for two days (Saturday and Sunday) to avoid large-scale labour unrest following the Savar tragedy. read more.

* Fire at Rana Plaza tunnel under control:

A fire that erupted in one of the tunnels drilled through the debris of collapsed Rana Plaza has been brought under control.

Witnesses said the fire fighters took less then 20 minutes to tame the flames after the fire broke out at around 10pm on Sunday.

bdnews24.com Correspondent Ashik Hossain said smoke suddenly started to come out from the tunnel after some clothes of the garment factories housed in the nine-storey commercial building caught fire when rescuers were cutting steel rods to pull out people alive.

He quoted the rescuers as saying that the fire would not stop the salvage efforts.

A similar case of fire was happened on Thursday but fire fighters also responded quickly then. to read.

wf-escenic-times

20130429

* The Savar tragedy:

This is not something new for Bangladesh to witness. Buildings collapsed earlier and killed many. But those did not wake up the government machinery to do something worthwhile for the people.

From such incidents, it is easy to deduct that human lives here have no meaning or value for the money-making machines. Money-making machine could be the government itself or some ignorant individuals who couldn’t care less for their workers. If one recollects, there was a time when the garment workers were not paid in time for lack of funds but the owner spent two hundred thousand takas on his dogs every month regularly (as reported in the media). Imagine the audacity! Had there been a properly functioning government of any sort, this dog-owner would definitely have gone for a high jump (as they say in a sophisticated society).

read more.

* Not accident but murder:

Do we see any difference between Tazreen Garments and Rana Plaza causality? Does anyone give a new cause about what happened at Savar? A close inspection gives us two causes, greed and selfishness of garments owners. In order to explain the fact, we have to go to five months back at Tazreen Garments, where workers were forced to work when the fire alarm rang.

The manager acted as an alarm specialist, assured the workers that it was fault of the alarm and insisted on their working. But the specialist did a great mistake. Fire broke out causing 112 workers’ death and injury to hundreds of people. After five months, a building showed crack at the same date but at different location. Engineers recommended not to use the building but owners of the garments, situated in it, and the owner of the Rana Plaza acted as engineer and forced the workers to work in that cracked building. The result is painful as ever.  read more.

* Factory collapse: Murders bred by greed:

Call it a coincidence or not, the government’s response to the USTR’s (United States Trade Representative) queries and the collapse of the eight-storey building that housed five garment factories on the outskirts of Dhaka at Savar killing several hundred workers appear to pose as intermingling affairs.

It was the morning of April 24 when the horrifying collapse took place, hours before the government sent its response to the queries of the USTR assuring the latter of immediate steps being taken to ensure safe workplace conditions including an improvement on the existing labour rights situation in the country. One may tend to see how through the series of manmade catastrophes the garment sector is perilously hanging around the guilt-ridden neck of the country seeking deliverance.

read more.

* Employers’ lack of concern or the government’s apathy?:

The anomaly in $19bn garment industry

The apparel sector in Bangladesh has been experiencing a sustained boom since the late 1990s. By 2007/08, the sector was earning more than $10 billion in the form of proceeds from sales.

It earned $19 billion in the year 2012 and thus emerged as the impoverished nation’s biggest export-oriented sector. Bangladesh is now the world’s biggest exporter of clothing after China. But the saddest part of the story is Bangladesh’s garments sector and the workers continue to be neglected as ever.

The government needs to explain how the factory owners are able to get away after flouting the labour law and other rules. Who are the proponents? Why is there so much incongruity in abiding by the factory rules? Who is responsible for this unforgivable irregularity? Is that the employers’ lack of concern or the government’s apathy?  read more.

* 12 hours in grave-like darkness with seven dead fellows:

Teenager Rina is yet to overcome the trauma of passing more than 12 hours in grave-like darkness along with seven of her work mates, all dead, and was getting abnormal recalling the horror.

She now has no intention to return the workplace which she likens to a gateway to hell.

Rina had joined work unwillingly on that fateful morning on Wednesday along with her seven mates on the seventh floor of the collapsed Rana Plaza. All of a sudden everything went  dark and it continued till rescuers took her out breaking the wall in the night, she recalled.

‘It was grave-like darkness. I could not understand whether it was day or night. All my mates died and I was surrounded by their bodies. I am the lone one who came out alive,’ she said casting a blank look.

There was no room to change side under the rubble as body of one her mates fell on her and a large chunk of wall had fallen on the body.

Rina said she was unwilling to join work on Wednesday, the day of death and destruction at the factory where cracks had been spotted on the previous day. At the insistence of one of her friends Swapna, she went to join work.  read more.

* Hopes fading, flickering:

The stench of decaying bodies filled the air around the ruins of Rana Plaza with the death toll reaching 377 yesterday, the fifth day into the building’s collapse.

Rescuers refrained from employing heavy equipment to remove the debris after being confirmed that four people — three women and a man — were still alive under the wreckage.

Meanwhile, another person was pulled out of the wreckage around 12:00noon, taking the number of people rescued so far to 2,437. read more.

daily star bd

* Waiting for a miracle:

Relatives of victims yet to be rescued or recovered hold their photos high at Adhar Chandra High School playground in Savar so that rescuers who are bringing in bodies can identify them. Photo: Sk enamul haq

Relatives of victims yet to be rescued or recovered hold their photos high at Adhar Chandra High School playground in Savar so that rescuers who are bringing in bodies can identify them. Photo: Sk enamul haq

As a few hundred pairs of eyes, weary of the long wait, were glued to the narrow tunnel leading out of the now-flattened Rana Plaza, an announcement sounded the most pleasing intimation of all: “A man has been rescued alive.”

It worked like magic, especially when common sense rules out chances of anyone’s survival inside the rubble for five days.

Several hundred people jostled to have a peek at the man being whisked off by an ambulance, everyone praying it were the one he was waiting for.

But Sadique was just the one the rescuers could recover alive till afternoon yesterday, knowledge that filled the waiting crowd with a heavy gloom.

The list posted there said nearly 1,300 were missing, though the list still has on it some of those already recovered alive or found dead.  read more.

daily star bd

_____update 11.00h.(LT)____

* RMG owners blind to amass wealth at the cost of workers:

Leaders of different professional bodies have termed the Savar tragedy as a dreaded “mass killing’ with least care to the lives and safety of workers from garment factory owners.

They said, factory owners have become blind to amass wealth and get quick rich, they are showing the face of ugly capitalism defeating all human values. It must be stopped enforcing safety at work places and other workers rights.

Demanding proper compensation for the families of the deceased and injured workers of the Savar tragedy, they said

the government must take the responsibility of the mass killing and ensure capital punishment to the owners of Rana Plaza and owners of the five RMG units which were housed in the commercial building.

They said, garments owners have amassed huge wealth over the years exploiting the poor workers with a minimum wage and depriving from other legitimate benefits.

read more.

Logo

* Citizens call for resistance against greedy owners:

A civic forum representing teachers, students and workers on Sunday urged people to get united against ‘greedy owners’ of garment factories and ensure justice of the mass-killing at Rana Plaza in Savar.

 

They made the call at a protest rally in front of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association headquarters demanding maximum punishment of the owners of Rana Plaza and five garments factories located in the collapsed building killing several hundred workers and injuring hundreds of others.  read more.

* Rana Plaza: 2nd phase of critical rescue operation begins:

Nearly 111 hours after the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar, the rescuers launched the second phase of operation at the building on Sunday midnight with heavy equipment to remove the debris.

“The second phase of rescue operation has started with two hydraulic cranes,” ISPR director M Shahinul Islam told UNB around 12:10am.

He said the cranes were brought from Jatrabari which were being used in Jatrabari Mayor Hanif Flyover.

The heavy equipment are being used as the rescuers apparently lost hope to find anyone alive under the rubble.

Some 378 bodies have so far been recovered from the rubbles while nearly 2,444 people rescued alive.  read more. & read more.

logo   

* ACC forms team to probe Savar building collapse:

The Anti-Corruption Commission on Sunday formed a two-member team to investigate illegal wealth of Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza in Savar that collapsed on Wednesday and a local leader of the Awami Juba League.

The team will also investigate the processes of construction, approval, and maintenance of the nine-storey building, said an ACC official. read more.

* PM visits Rana Plaza site:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the ruined site of Savar building Monday morning, six days after the collapse of nine-storey Rana Plaza.

The building housing five garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping mall collapsed on Wednesday.

The death toll in the disaster reached 381 so far. Till early Monday, 2,437 people were pulled out alive beneath the debris of the building.

The premier drove straight to Enam Medical College and Hospital in Savar where she spent nearly 15-minute with the injured people who have been undergoing treatment there.

She consoled the injured and enquired about their well-being.

read more. & read more.

daily star bd  wf-escenic-times

* Twin tragedy:

It is as if misfortunes will not let go of them.

Abdus Sobhan and Lal Mia have had enough already, losing Tahura Begum, the former’s daughter and the latter’s wife, to the Rana Plaza disaster in Savar.

After Tahura’s body was recovered from the rubble on Saturday, the two along with some relatives were carrying Tahura’s body to their village home in Pabna yesterday.

But three people were killed and four others injured when the ambulance collided with a lorry on the Pabna-Nagarbari highway in Sirajganj.

Badly injured, Sobhan and Lal Mia were taking treatment at Pabna Medical College Hospital and could not attend Tahura’s funeral yesterday, family sources said.

“I’m so unlucky that I could not even attend the burial of my daughter,” Sobhan told The Daily Star at the hospital.  read more.

daily star bd

* Insurers won’t pay RMG units of Rana Plaza:

Five apparel factories that were operating in the ill-fated Rana Plaza in Savar will not be able to file insurance claims as the garment units were housed in a faultily-constructed building, insurers said.

Of the five, New Wave Bottoms and New Wave Style have fire and marine insurance with Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd.

Building collapse is not covered by the factories’ insurance policy and so these two factories will not get the Tk 14-15 crore claims as per the policies with Green Delta, officials said.

“Even, if incidence of building collapse was included in the policy, the factories would not get the money because of the wrong foundation of the building,” said Nasir A Choudhury, managing director of Green Delta.  read more. & read more.

daily star bd 

* Workers back to work:

Production at all garment factories in Savar resumed on Monday after four-day shut.

Thousands of workers joined works as the environment seem congenial in all factories.

Confirming the matter to banglanews, Industrial police Inspector Abdus Sattar said, “All workers have joined works and they are working in peacefully.”

Earlier, workers observed work abstention protesting Savar Rana Plaza collapse which has killed at least 385 workers.  to read.

banglanews24 Logo

* BGMEA yet to frame fire safety guideline:

The decision of the BGMEA to check structural designs of all buildings accommodating garment units has come at a time when it is yet to complete its pilot project for formulating a guideline for occupational fire safety.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has announced that it will get the structural designs of all buildings that accommodate garment factories checked by experts, engineers of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET) in the next three months.  read more.

* T-shirt tax campaign for Bangladesh victims:

A new campaign has been launched in the UK to raise money for the Bangladesh factory collapse victims by urging shoppers to pay a voluntary “T-shirt tax”.

The cash is going to the charity ActionAid which will distribute it to the families of victims killed in the disaster, as well as to workers who survived.

Victoria Butler-Cole, a 36-year-old barrister from Kent who came up with the idea, said: “It seems to me we have a moral duty to help. Everyone has something in their wardrobe from Bangladesh. This isn’t just the fault of companies who supply cheap clothes.”  read more.

daily star bd

* Never again:

As the clock ticks away, the survival prospects of hundreds of souls missing at Rana Plaza are getting dimmer. Let us say never again. Let us treat this as a human tragedy that could have been prevented, not a natural one that was beyond our control.

The catastrophe of Spectrum Garments in 2005 was mostly a failure of the building itself. The investigation report conducted by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology found that the owner had made changes to the design made by the structural engineers. He made the roof slabs thicker and columns thinner, inducing a sandwich effect.

The Tazreen tragedy had its roots in human failure. The workers were trapped in the inferno by gross human negligence. As the fire alarms rang, workers were told by the supervisors that the alarms were not working properly. Workers are generally put under lock and key to prevent pilferage. As many as 112 people were roasted alive.

read more.

daily star bd

_____update 16.45h.(LT)____

* No one found dead or alive since mechnised rescue in Savar began Sunday:

20130429 BD24

No new bodies have been recovered nor anyone rescued alive from the rubble of the deadliest building collapse on Monday in Savar since the second phase of mechanised rescue operation began Sunday midnight.

The death toll from the collapse reached 380 lastly with recovery of two more bodies from the debris on Sunday night.

The 2nd phase of rescue operation with heavy equipment was started at 12:10am.

Three hundred eighty bodies have so far been pulled out from the wreckage of the building while nearly 2,444 people rescued alive as the search for survivors still goes on, the control room sources said.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

logo  wf-escenic-times banglanews24 Logo 

* Savar Tragedy: BEF demands fair probe, punishment of those responsible:

Leaders of the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF) on Monday demanded a fair investigation into the Savar tragedy and punishment of those involved in the incidents through proper identification. 

They urged all, especially the owners of all types of industrial units, to remain careful at individual level to avert such serious accident in the future.

“We need to come out from the blame-game culture. We need to be more responsible and the owners must play a very active role to that end,” BEF President M Fazlul Hoque told reporters at a press conference at the MCCI conference room.

read more.

* RMG units reopen:

Workers demonstrating for death penalty of Sohel Rana

Though the readymade garment factories reopened Monday morning after a closure of two days in the wake of labour unrest following Savar building collapse, the workers were staging demonstration in Ashulia and Gazipur.

Workers in Ashulia and Gazipur refused to join work and continued to demonstrate demanding death penalty to Sohel Rana, owner of the nine-storey building that collapsed on Wednesday, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

He however could not inform the situation of other parts of the country. read more.

daily star bd

* Frantic effort to locate survivors:

Rescuers continued frantic efforts to locate whether anyone is still remaining alive inside the rubble on Monday as they continue second phase of operation using the hydraulic cranes.

They removed the heavy concrete slabs of what once was a nine-story building, starting from Sunday night.

No more body was recovered nor anyone could be pulled out alive from beneath the debris of the building that collapsed on Wednesday.

The death toll from the collapse now stands 381.  to read.

daily star bd

* BGB deployed in N’ganj RMG belt:

Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were deployed in the readymade garments belt of Narayanganj on Monday morning to avert any untoward incident over Rana Plaza collapse in Savar.

Deputy Commissioner of Narayanganj Monoj Kanti Boral said five platoons of BGB members led by Major Pasha will be on guard at the strategic points of the district’s industrial areas.

He said further the BGB members have already started patrolling the city streets to maintain law and order in association with other law enforcing agencies, including police.  read more. & read more.

  logo

* Another Rana Plaza victim dies at DMCH:

Another victim of Rana Plaza collapse died Monday while undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

The deceased was identified as Mozammel Haque, 25, a swing operator of New Wave Buttons and son of Zahirul Haque of Uttar Salal village in Sirajganj district.

Family sources said Mozammel succumbed to his injuries at about 8am.

Mozammel was admitted to DMCH on Thursday after he was recovered from the wreckage of the building. He worked at the 4th floor of Rana Plaza.  read more.

* Garment workers’ protest- Factories, vehicles vandalised in Savar, Gazipur:

Thousands of garment workers stormed out of their units and vandalised several factories in Savar and Gazipur as the readymade garment factories reopened Monday morning after a two-day closure.

The vandalised at least 200 vehicles in Savar during the demonstration protesting the deaths of a few hundred workers when nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed Wednesday.

Workers in Ashulia and Gazipur refused to join work and continued to demonstrate, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Our Gazipur correspondent reports, most of the RMG factory has stopped production fearing further vandalism.

The workers also blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh road for two hours since 2:15pm.

Workers also took to the streets and started demonstration in Savar.

read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  wf-escenic-times

* High-profile ILO team due Wednesday:

A four-member high-profile delegation of the International Labor Organization (ILO), led by its Deputy Director General (DDG) for Field Operations and Partnerships, Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, arrives here on Wednesday to discuss labour issues with the authorities concerned. 

The delegation will visit Savar building collapse site and hold talks with the government officials and the owners of the factories during their four-day visit.

“It’s a very important visit and this is a very high-level delegation. What ILO says it’s an urgent visit following the Savar tragedy,” President of Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF) M Fazlul Hoque told reporters at a press conference at the MCCI conference room on Monday.   read more. & read more. & read more.

  daily star bd BSS

* Rana’s father held in Moghbazar:

Detectives arrested the father of Sohel Rana, owner of nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar, in Moghbazar in the capital Monday.

Abdul Khalek’s arrest came in the afternoon a day after Rana’s arrest in bordering Benapole area by members of Rapid Action Battalion.

Rana Plaza, a nine-storey building housing five garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex, collapsed on Wednesday trappings several thousand people inside it.

The building collapse death toll now stands 381.

Detectives, acting on a tip-off, raided a flat at Madhubagh in Moghbazar around 2:00pm and arrested Khalek, Deputy Commissioner of Ramna Division Sheikh Maruf Hasan told The Daily Star.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo  logo

* High-powered committee to review safety measures in factories: Cabinet:

Adopting a condolence motion over the huge loss of lives in Savar building collapse, the Cabinet on Monday decided to form a high-powered committee to physically review the infrastructures and other safety measures in RMG factories across the country.

The condolence motion was adopted at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at the Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the Cabinet decided to form a high-powered committee, headed by a state minister, to physically review the infrastructures and other safety measures in garment factories across the country, aiming to prevent the recurrence of such catastrophes in the RMG sector in the future.  read more.

_____update 20.40h.(LT)____

* Hope dims for Bangladesh survivors:

Rescue workers in Bangladesh have given up hopes of finding any more survivors, after a fire delayed their efforts to dig into the rubble of a building that collapsed five days ago.

Officials leading the operation said on Monday they doubt they will save any more lives, after they failed to rescue a young woman named Shahanaz, whom they believe was the last remaining survivor.

“We found a woman alive,” Mustafa Kamal, a volunteer rescue operator, told Al Jazeera. “When we went to rescue her, an outsider joined the operation with a metal grinder, and from there it sparked, it led to a fire, and she died”.

The firefighters managed to put out the fire, but the smoke spread to several floors leading them to believe that there are no more survivors. The blaze also injured at least six rescuers.  read & see more (video).

aljazeera

* Hopes for more survivors fading:

Hopes of finding more survivors in the building collapse could soon come to an end in a heartrending scene as the rescuers on Sunday midnight began breaking the inaccessible concrete blocks with heavy machines in search of dead bodies.

In a bizarre tragedy-within-tragedy at the last minute before the second phase of the rescue operation, a female garment worker might have burnt alive as “a fire broke out from an electric cutter machine in the hole while she was being rescued”, witnesses and officials on the spot said.

The unfortunate woman was named Shahina, hailed from Kushtia.

Earlier in the evening, the joint rescue team led by army extended the time of first phase of the rescue operation in search of five more survivors who were reported trapped inside the wreckage of the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar. read more.

DAILY SUN

* Four more bodies found after launching of 2nd phase rescue drive:

Four more bodies were recovered from the wreckage of  collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar since the second phase of rescue operation began Sunday midnight, raising the death toll to 382.

Nearly 111 hours after the Rana Plaza collapse, the 2nd phase of rescue operation using heavy equipment started at 12.10 am Monday.

With the recovery of four more bodies from the debris till this afternoon, the death toll from the collapse now stands at 382. So far, nearly 2,444 people rescued alive, and the search for survivors is still going on, said General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Savar Cantonment Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardi.

read more. & read more.

  daily star bd

* Sohel Rana on 15-day remand:

Dhaka court here on Monday placed Sohel Rana, owner of collapsed Rana Plaza, on a 15-day remand in two cases filed in connection with the complex collapse.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Wasim Sheikh passed the order when police produced him before the court seeking a 20-day remand.

After hearing, the court granted an 8-day remand in a case filed under penal Code Act while seven days’ remand in another case filed under Building Construction Act.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

  daily star bd  BSS  DAILY SUN

* RMG workers block road at Mohakhali:

Garment workers of Nasa Group blocked Gulshan-Mohakhali link road in the capital since Monday morning demanding their arrears.

Transport movement on Dhaka-Tangail highway remains suspended since morning following the blockade, which was continued until 4:30pm when the report was filed.

Biplob Kumar Sarkar, deputy commissioner of Tejgaon Division, said some cracks developed on the wall of the building of Nasa Group at Tejgaon on Sunday.

As the authorities shifted some of the valuables from the building Sunday night, a rumour spread that Nasa Group has decided to shut down its three garment factories, the DC said.

Hearing the news, around 1,500 workers of three factories took to the street in front of Nasa building around 10:00 Monday and started demonstration demanding the arrears, he said.  read more.

daily star bd

* Bangladesh workers vent anger at building disaster:

Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers walked out of their factories Monday, demanding the death penalty for the owner of a tower block that collapsed and killed at least 381 of their colleagues.

Managers at all of the country’s 4,500 garment factories had given workers an unscheduled two days holiday over the weekend in the hope that anger over last Wednesday’s disaster at the Rana Plaza would subside.

But police and unions said there was a mass walk-out in the Ashulia industrial zone on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka soon after the reopening on Monday morning and workers then began a protest march through the area.

Local police chief Badrul Alam put the number of protestors at more than 15,000 while a local television network, Private Independent, reported that a number of vehicles had been torched, including an ambulance.

Police responded with rubber bullets and tear gas to bring the unrest under control.

read more.

channelnewsasia

* A rescue operation launched amid frustration- Five more bodies found:

As the introduction of the heavy equipment replaced the manual rescue mode at the collapsed Rana Plaza during the early hours on Sunday, the voices of many unseen survivors were still being heard and some even were about to be rescued by civilian rescuers.

Abdur Rahim Mollah, a civilian rescuer, told UNB that the rescuers had to abandon the rescue of some of the survivors in the ruins halfway as the army personnel forced them to leave the site before introducing the heavy equipments.

But the army personnel said the sooner the heavy equipments are used the better the results will be, and forced the civilian rescuers to evacuate the places, leaving their last attempted rescue unfinished.

read more. & read more. & read more.

  BSS  logo

* BGMEA to form 7-member committee to compensate workers affected from Savar building collapse:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) today decided to form a committee in a week to determine terms and conditions on how to compensate the workers affected from the Savar building collapse.

The decision came at an emergency meeting of the association with buyers of Bangladesh’s apparel products at the BGMEA’s conference room here.  read more.

BSS

_____update 01.20h.(LT)____   (20130430)

 

* RMG buyers worried over Savar tragedy, political unrest: BGMEA chief:

The international buyers of readymade garments here on Monday expressed grave concern over the huge casualties in the Savar building collapse and the ongoing political unrest in the country.

“They (RMG buyers) have become extremely worried because of the current political unrest and the Savar tragedy followed by the Tazreen Fashions inferno,” President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) M Atiqul Islam said.

He was talking to reporters after a views-exchange meeting between the representatives of apparel producers and the buyers in the capital’s BGMEA Bhaban in the wake of the Savar building collapse.

read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

& read more.

  wf-escenic-times  logo  newstodayBD  daily star bd 

* BGMEA should be more responsible to protect industry: e-media leaders:

Owners and chief executives of the country’s private television channels on Monday advised the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association leadership to be more cautious and responsible to safeguard the export-oriented industry.

 

Tragic incidents are taking place in the apparel sector one after another and if precautionary measures were taken at the initial stage, such incidents would not have recurred so frequently, they told a views-exchange meeting held at the BGMEA office in the wake of Wednesday’s Savar disaster that resulted in heavy casualties and cast negative impacts on the country’s apparel industry.  read more.

* Govt nods RMG safety panel formation:

Taking a cue from the worst-ever industrial disaster in Bangladesh, the government has decided to form a high-level committee to scrutinise safety measures in readymade garment factories across the country.

 

Monday’s regular Cabinet meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister, also decided to update the existing building code with specifications for the authorities concerned to approve building designs, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters after the meeting.

A State Minister will head the committee, with representations from various ministries, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and various workers’ organisations.

Bhuiyan said the committee would physically review the infrastructures and other safety measures in garment factories across the country and then submit a report to the Cabinet committee, aiming to prevent recurrence of such human tragedies in the RMG sector in the future.  read more.

wf-escenic-times

* Cabinet decides to form high-powered body to visit all RMG units:

The cabinet decided on Monday to form a high- powered committee with the responsibility to visit all the garment factories across the country soon and submit reports to the government.

It decided to review and upgrade the existing National Building Code -2006, amid the recurrence of building collapse incidents over the past few years and asked the ministry of housing and public works to submit reports on the present condition of building infrastructures which are vulnerable in the country.  read more.

*  Ensuring safety of the garment workers:

It is so heartbreaking that on April 24, an eight-storey factory building in Savar that housed five garment factories collapsed, causing death to several hundred workers and injuries to thousands.

We saw a similar incident just five months ago when fire in Tazreen Fashions killed 112 workers. But what happened after that? It is unfortunate that after the Tazreen incidence, four probe committees were formed and although all the committees reported of negligence of the owner, no legal measure has yet been taken.

How long will such brutalities continue? It seems we have as though taken these as natural calamities that they will happen and there is nothing to do about? And how long will our politicians continue with lofty pledges after each of such incidents and not take necessary steps to stop these from happening?  read more.

* Apparel sector needs a regulatory body:

Deaths of over 380 people under the debris of the Rana Plaza (many like to call the huge number of casualties mass murders) seemed to have drawn a lot of attention, support and sympathy from broader section of people and institutions at home and abroad.

Unfortunately, though humanitarian in nature, these are all reactions only. Deep into our hearts, we know, reactions and aftermath donations, assistance and sympathy will not take us anywhere to make sure the mayhem does not happen at any time or again in future.

The Spectrum episode in 2005 did show us the dilapidated condition our garment factories or plants were in. It pointed fingers at the non-compliance even with the minimum building standards.

The Tazreen Fashion episode showed us our garment owners’ lack of preparedness to ensure workers’ safety or workplace safety. And now the Rana Plaza mayhem tells us everything has broken loose — be it building code, workers’ safety, workplace security, owners’ ability or indifferent attitude to handle crisis situations and the government’s failure to monitor and protect the interests of the toiling masses.

read more.

 * End to hopes:

Heavy equipment come in for recovery; 6 more bodies recovered

 

Rescuers have pulled out seven bodies from the debris of Rana Plaza in Savar since the beginning of the second phase of the rescue operation using heavy machines at 11:30pm on Sunday.

Last night, according to ISPR, the death toll in the deadliest building collapse in the country’s history stood at 384.

Rescuers comprising specially trained fire fighters, personnel from armed forces and volunteers pulled a total of 2,818 people, including the dead and the survivors, out of the debris. It could not be known how many bodies are still in the ruins.

Yesterday, the site was off-limit to general people with hundreds waiting outside the cordon.  read more.

daily star bd

* Chances for more survivors slim:

Rescuers on Monday began using heavy equipment to remove rubble from the collapsed Rana Plaza as chances of finding any more survivors were getting diminished.

Search was halted on Sunday night by a fire which broke out in one of the hole cut in the north-west of the building. The rescuers believe that the possibility of still survivors being trapped in the rubble was little after the fire, caused by spark from a rod-cutter.

A coordinated move to rescue trapped Shahnaj Parveen went futile because of the fire, ending her 106-hour fight for survival.

The military said the rescuers would continue search for survivors under the rubble even if they use heavy equipment like hydraulic cranes and bulldozers.

read more.

* Voices from debris still heard:

Four more bodies were recovered from the wreckage of collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar since the second phase of rescue operation began Sunday midnight, raising the death toll to 382, reports UNB.

Nearly 111 hours after the Rana Plaza collapse, the 2nd phase of rescue operation using heavy equipment started at 12.10 am Monday.

With the recovery of four more bodies from the debris till this afternoon, the death toll from the collapse now stands at 382. So far, nearly 2,444 people rescued alive, and the search for survivors is still going on, said General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Savar Cantonment Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardi.

Of the total bodies, 370 were handed over to the victims’ families.  read more.

newstodayBD

* Death Toll Reaches over 400 in Bangladesh Factory Collapse:

The death toll is now 400 and will most likely continue to rise, since an estimated 600 to 700 workers remain trapped in the rubble following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on Wednesday morning, April 24.

Rescue teams fear that many of the trapped workers will not survive.

Hundreds of desperate parents continue to search for their children, many of them in their teens and 20s, who worked sewing garments in the five factories housed on the Rana Plaza building’s upper floors. The bodies of the dead are being brought to a local high school in Savar where families come to search for their loved ones.

read more.

IGLHR

* Workers stage rowdy protests:

Many garment factories faced an unannounced shutdown yesterday after thousands of apparel workers took to the streets of Gazipur, Savar, Narayanganj and Ashulia to protest the deaths of their fellow workers in the Savar building collapse.

The agitating workers blocked highways, vandalised vehicles and disrupted traffic, forcing factory owners to send their workers on leave for the day.

The authorities in Gazipur and Narayanganj deployed Border Guard Bangladesh soldiers to maintain law and order.

The undeclared closure of factories has left garment makers without production for almost six days since the nine-storey Rana Plaza caved in on Wednesday, causing heavy casualties.  read more.

daily star bd

* Workers’ demo in Savar, Gazipur demands Sohel be hanged:

350 RMG units close again amid violent labour unrest

Thousands of apparel workers on Monday staged violent demonstrations at Savar and Ashulia demanding capital punishment of Juba League leader and Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana and other persons, including local lawmaker Murad Jong and upazila nirbahi officer Kabir Hosen Sarder, responsible for Wednesday’s deadly building collapse.

The agitated readymade garment workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway at Jamgora and Jirabo points in Ashulia and the Dhaka-Aricha highway at Fulbaria in Savar.

They vandalised three factories and set two cars on fire and vandalised more than 50 vehicles, including an ambulance, on the highways during the demonstrations against the death of around 400 workers and injuries of many more in the collapse of the nine-storey Rana Plaza.  read more. & read more. & read more.

   wf-escenic-times 

* Unrest in RMG sector must be dealt with wisely:

We can not over-emphasise the importance of readymade garments because it is the lifeline of our economy.

We are heavily dependent on it as livelihood of millions of people depends on it. We should be very careful before taking any steps regarding this sector. RMG sector has been experiencing a turbulent time. I hope it will come out stronger than ever before.

We need guidelines so that these industries can make progress. We must keep patience for that as change will not appear suddenly. It requires time. If we start now, it will take at least five years to notice the changes. We must go ahead with slow, steady and wise steps. Savar tragedy has shocked the countrymen but we must not make it a political issue. read more.

* Banks to raise Tk 100cr for Savar victims:

Banks have agreed to create a Tk 100 crore fund to help the victims of Savar tragedy and tackle such disasters in future, directors and bankers said yesterday.

The decision came at a meeting between Bangladesh Bank and bankers and owners of commercial banks at the BB headquarters in Dhaka, with Governor Atiur Rahman in the chair.

Bangladesh Association of Banks and Association of Bankers Bangladesh — the platforms of bank owners and chief executives — will sit soon separately to finalise their contributions to the fund.  read more.

daily star bd

* NBR proposes tax-waiver for donations to Savar victims:

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is set to offer tax exemption facility to encourage people to come forward voluntarily with financial support for the victims of the tragic building-collapse at Savar.

The revenue board has taken the move to this effect and sent a proposal to the ministry of finance (MoF) for its approval.

It has sought Finance Minister AMA Muhith’s consent to allow the income tax returnees a full waiver of tax on the amount donated as support for the victims or the members of their families.  read more.

* Police hunting Spanish national, 2 more RMG unit owners:

The police are hunting the owners, including a Spanish national, of three garment factories that were housed in Rana Plaza that collapsed on Wednesday at Savar.

Additional superintendent of police of Dhaka ABM Masud Hossain said they were out to hunt Spanish citizen David Mayor Raco, managing director of Phantom Tac Limited.

He said they were also hunting Ether Tex Limited managing director Mahbubul Alam and director Jesmin Alam Biva, wife of the company chairman, Anisur Rahman.

Masud said they had been confirmed that Raco was still in the country and the police were trying to trace him and the other two garment factory owners. read more.

* 29 unidentified bodies set to be laid at Jurain:

Twenty-nine unidentified bodies of Savar building collapse will be laid to rest at Jurain graveyard Monday night.

Anjuman Mofidul Islam, a voluntary organisation, will carry out the burial.

The Dhaka district commissioner’s office handed over the bodies to the organisation around 8:20pm.

DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid) sample of the bodies had been collected for their identification after the burial, Sarwar Jahan, a deputy director of Anjuman Mofidul Islam, told The Daily Star.

The bodies, which were not claimed by their families after their recovery from the collapsed building in Savar, had been kept at Dhaka Medical College morgue.

Rana Plaza, a nine-storey building housing five garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex, collapsed on Wednesday trappings several thousand people inside it.

to read. & read more.

daily star bd  wf-escenic-times

20130430

* ‘Give me his body, at least’:

Having waited for full five days for her husband working at the collapsed Savar building, Ratna Begum has now given up the hope of his return alive. Now all she wants is his body.

“Give me a trace of my husband. If it’s not possible to return him alive, please return his body at least. Now I want nothing other than my husband’s body,” she was heard wailing on Monday.

Ratna, with her six-month baby in the lap, broke into tears while talking to bdnews24.com at Savar’s Adhar Chandra High School grounds.

Her husband Ruhul Amin was working in a garment factory on the sixth floor of Rana Plaza when the commercial building collapsed on Apr 24.

Since the accident, Ratna has been running from the debris to the school grounds to hospital morgues in search of her husband.  read more.

wf-escenic-times

 * Havoc around lack of data:

Josna Begum desperately asked around for the whereabouts of her son Jasim, a 22-year-old worker in a garments factory which used to be on the fourth floor of the collapsed Rana Plaza.

Her anxious query… “Where is my son?”… remained unanswered for the past four days apparently due to the lack of a database system to list the names of the victims, both dead and alive.

Josna visited the Adhar Chandra High School playground in Savar, along with 15 relatives, to identify if Jasim was amongst the dead brought there. They even checked morgues in Dhaka for his body.

They missed none of the hospitals, clinics, or primary healthcare centres in Savar, and even visited Dhaka clinics and hospitals, where many of the injured were taken.

The family meticulously went through all the lists of the injured being treated at every outlet to no avail. They had listed Jasim’s name at the playground as missing since the collapse, but no news of him surfaced.  read more.

daily star bd

* File murder case to ensure punishment for Savar tragedy: BNP:

Opposition BNP on Monday demanded the government file a murder case against all those, including Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, responsible for the Savar tragedy.

“The ministers are saying the Savar tragedy is not an accident, but a killing. So, a murder case must be filed against Sohel Rana and all others responsible for it,” said BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed.  read more.

* Cranes used in 2nd phase Savar rescue operations:

The second phase of the rescue operations in Savar began on Sunday morning. This phase involves the use of heavy equipment to dislodge the rubble of Rana Plaza, the eight-storey building which collapsed on Wednesday.

The deployment of heavy equipment created a furore among the relatives of missing workers as they felt this would crush their last hope of finding their dear ones alive. Members of the rescue team claimed they have decided to use heavy equipment only after they became certain that there was no survivor inside the building.

Though officials said the death toll was 389 till Monday, unofficial sources claimed that it rose to 402, including the five bodies recovered on Sunday. So far, nearly 2,444 people were rescued from the rubble and the search for survivors is still going on, said Maj. Gen. Chowdhury Hasan Surwardi, general officer commanding of the Savar Cantonment.  read more.

logo

* Who owns the Rana Plaza land? :

The inquiry committee, set up in the aftermath of the Savar building collapse, is trying to determine the actual ownership of the land where Rana Plaza stood.

Rabindra Nath Sarker, a resident of the area, said the land belonged to him, but was forcibly taken away by Sohel Rana who built Rana Plaza. Local people too stood by Sarker. On Monday, the assistant commissioner (Land) of Savar and tahshilder (local land officer) informed the home ministry’s probe committee through a letter that the owner of the land was Sohel Rana, who was arrested on Sunday by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) before he could flee to India. This was stated by the probe committee chief, Mainuddin Khandaker. Khandaker, also additional secretary in the home ministry, said an experts committee will try and find out who the real owner of the land is.     read more.

logo

* Lets us make this May Day meaningful:

The International workers’ Day or May Day is just knocking at the door and I hope this day will be celebrated more enthusiastically. Although we are living in twenty-first century, our workers are still deprived of their basic human rights. We can not blame only the owners of garments for that as buyers of international market also have responsibility towards poor workers.

When a buyer pressurises a seller for price reduction, the ultimate effect falls upon the poor workers. International buyers also should consider the plight of the workers when they buy apparel for their renowned companies. I think present situation of RMG sector can be improved considerably if the international buyers and the owners of garments meet and spent a bit of their fortune for the workers to improve their living standard and working environment.  read more.

* US concerned on factory tragedies, political unrest:

The United States has expressed concern over recent tragedies in factories in Bangladesh as well as political violence and reported rights abuse by members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

 

The concern was expressed by US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Eileen C Donahoe during the hearing on human rights issues in Bangladesh under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism in Geneva on Monday. “We appreciate the government’s willingness to address worker safety and rights, but remain concerned by the recent tragedies in factories.  Concrete steps should be taken to improve worker conditions and remove barriers to fundamental labour rights,” she said.

read more.

logo

* Sorry Shaheena:

The word “tragedy” falls short in many senses when it comes to the death of Shaheena, a Rana Plaza victim who survived the collapse, but died while waiting to be rescued.

Clinging to life for more than 100 agonising hours trapped in the northeast corner of the third floor, she had given the nation something to hold on to.

But all efforts to bring her out went in vain when a fire broke out inside the sandwiched floors of the collapsed building during the rescue operation.

“It is extremely painful to see a soul of such strong will, determined to survive, slipping through the fingers,” said firefighter Abul Khayer, who recovered lifeless Shaheena yesterday at around 4:00pm.

Shaheena had all the reasons to hope to be rescued once she had managed to communicate with the rescuers Saturday afternoon. She had three more female survivors around her who went silent since Sunday afternoon.

By Sunday morning, the rescuers had made a tunnel and provided her with saline and oxygen. In the evening, they managed to cut some iron rods of the beam, behind which she got trapped. But they could not pull her out, as her body could not slip through the tiny space.  read more.

daily star bd

* Deaths in RMG units must stop:

Before the crimson sun in the sweltering late summer morning blazes down on the street, girls and boys, mostly in their teens stream out of their shanties to reach their common destination — the workplace, a garments factory.

Day in and day out, no matter what the weather is like, it is scorching heat or pouring rain and thunderstorm or biting cold of a winter morning, they weave through the crowded roads to be in time in their factories to escape the wrath of the owners. This is a common everyday sight witnessed in almost all the roads and streets in the capital and its suburbs and also in other cities and towns of the country.

The young bread-earners swarming the garment factories mostly from rural Bangladesh sweat blood for at least ten hours a day with rustic simplicity for their livelihood.

Their hard labour in exchange of a mere subsistence wage helps the employers earn substantially and the country the most coveted foreign exchange by exporting readymade garments (RMG). About 5,000 garment factories in the country employ about three million workers, more than 80 percent of whom are women and most of them in their mid or late teens. to read.

newstodayBD

* Western shoppers concerned at workers’ safety in 3rd World:

Shoppers in the west have expressed their growing concern about workers safety in the developing countries following the tragic Savar building collapse, US news agency Bloomberg reported on Monday.

In the report, it said Bangladesh’s US$18 apparel industry is marred by factories with poor electrical wiring and insufficient number of exists and little firefighting equipment.

More than 1,000 garment workers have died in fires and other disasters in Bangladesh since 2005, the Bloomberg said citing a data of the Washington-based advocacy group — International Labour Rights Forum.

read more.

* Cheap clothes at cost of life:

Garment workers eventually pay the price as buyers strive to pay less

“Low prices. Every Day. On everything” — Wal-Mart’s new slogan replaces the old one in circulation since 2007 — “Save money. Live better”.

Both show the sad face of garment business. They also reveal the crux of the problem: when you want to go cheap, your operation will go cheap too.

You have to get the cheapest thing from the garment manufacturer. And the manufacturer will try to cut corners.

The big question is: which corner will he cut?

If one looks at the value chain of garment manufacturing, the answer becomes clear. The lone objective of the international buyers is to negotiate orders at the same price, if not less, as last year’s.

And, for every year, it is always a done deal as an unofficial league of big buyers maintains an identical low price policy in negotiation.

In the whole string of operations, the job of manufacturers is to bring in fabrics and accessories and then make clothes that involve around 20 percent of the negotiated price. The big international buyers control the remaining 80 percent for, at least, not to sell clothes at a lower price. The sale price is usually 4-8 times the purchase price.  read more.

daily star bd

* Mass Murder At Savar:

It’s past midnight now, I took a shower after returning home but it refuses to go away.

I can smell it on my wet hair as strands blow over my face while the fan whirs above. I can smell it on my nightwear and, as I rest my chin on my clasped hands, I can smell the stench of rotting corpses and bloated bodies which stretches from Rana Plaza to Adhar Chandra school grounds in Savar – rise up from my fingers.

It has not only come home with me, all that scrubbing as I showered has proven to be of little use.

It is not the dead workers who are to be blamed. The stench rises from, as Vijay Prasad puts it, the terror of capitalism.

At this end of the subcontracting regime, terror has become normalised, which is why the BGMEA head Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin could get away by declaring in June, there is “no logic for increasing the wages of workers.”

Which is why the BGMEA could callously disregard the Tazreen factory fire last November ­when more than 112 workers were burnt alive because the gates had been locked. Which is why it could get away by not taking any visible and effective followup measures – of investigating and identifying structurally unsafe factories, of insisting that they be closed down until safety standards had been met, or else, BGMEA membership would be cancelled.

But why should BGMEA members be bothered? As a discussant pointed out in a TV talk show, each BGMEA member chips in only 2,000 taka for a death compensation claim. A pittance when compared to the material benefits owners gain from “shortening the extent of the labourer’s life” (Marx, quoted by Prasad). Shortening, literally.

Ayon, a photography student of Pathshala, remarked on entering the car as we left Savar for Dhaka, “Both Lima apu and you smell of corpses. My family members said the same thing when I got home last night, I couldn’t smell it on me but I can smell it on you.”  read more.

SHAHIDULnews

_____update 10.50h.(LT)____

* Death toll rises to 397:

At least 397 garments workers have been found dead and thousands others injured as an 8-storied building–Rana Plaza–collapsed in Savar bus stand area of Dhaka on Wednesday morning.

The rescue team identified some 352 bodies and handed over to family and relatives.

Death toll may rise as many others were still trapped in the collapsed building. Police and hospital sources confirmed the matter to banglanews.

read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo  daily star bd

* Rana, 4 garment owners taken to court:

Owners of Rana Plaza and five RMG factories were taken to the High court on Tuesday morning to produce them before it as per the order.

The owners are Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building–Rana Plaza, Baslus Samad Adnan, owner of New Web Bottoms and Mahmudur Rahman Tapos, owner of New Web Style, M Aminul Islam, owner of Phantom Apparels of Rana Plaza and Md Anisur Rahman, owner of Ether Textile Limited.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Govt plans fresh panel for garment factory inspection:

The government yesterday decided to form a high-powered committee for regular inspection of the country’s garment factories.

The decision came at the weekly cabinet meeting, which adopted a condolence motion for the building collapse at Savar last Wednesday, which has, so far, claimed at least 381 lives and injured 2,429.

The committee, to be led by a state minister, will visit every garment factory in the country and examine the building conditions, work environment and fire safety measures.

Based on the findings, a report would be compiled for the cabinet committee, which would decide the next course of action.  read more.

daily star bd

* HC order on Judicial Commission sought:

A directive of the High Court (HC) was sought Monday relating to constituting a Judicial Commission by the government to probe the tragic Rana Plaza collapse that killed at least 381 people at Savar.

Seeking the directive, a Supreme Court (SC) lawyer filed a supplementary petition with the HC.

The matter is likely to be pleaded today (Tuesday) before the HC Bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar, petitioner-cum Advocate Dr Eunus Ali Akond told the FE.  read more.

* Award exemplary punishment to Sohel Rana:

Bangladesh is the brand to the global garment buyers for its fine and ultra-modern stitches. Many workers have been doing such tedious job with satisfaction to promote Brand Bangladesh, the globally famous garments exporting brand. Most of them are women and young girls.

The garment workers are low-paid but still they work hard. Sometimes, the owners of the garment factories do not pay them their due wages, bonus and other allowances but they are working hard and earning foreign remittances for our country.

Hundreds of garment workers have already lost their lives. Savar tragedy has shocked us. It is a great shock not only for Bangladesh but also for the foreign buyers.   read more.

* Savar incident example of mass killing: CPB:

Leaders of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) on Monday demanded exemplary punishment for the persons responsible for the Savar incident.

They demanded filing another case against the culprits including the owner of the Rana Plaza for committing crimes as their decision led to death of hundreds of workers. Mujahidul Islam Selim, president of the CPB made the demand while he was addressing at a programme held at National Press Club. The programme was organized by the CPB in protest against the Savar incident.

He said, the cases, which were filed earlier following the Savar incident would not ensure the capital punishment for the culprits as the merit of the cases did not cover the heinous crimes. Hence, the government should file another case against them under the penal Code seeking their death penalty for the mass killing incident, he noted.

Five cases were filed against them in this regard. “If the trial is completed, they would be awarded for two or three years’ imprisonment, which is less compared to their crimes,” he noted.  read more.

logo

* High cost of cheap clothing:

The world’s big retailers, most of which have flocked to profit from Bangladesh’s low wages and poor working conditions, should share the responsibility of building collapse and casualties in Savar, The Financial Times of UK has said in an editorial.

The powerful daily starts the editorial questioning, “WHAT is a fair price for a T-shirt?” The tragedy unfolding in the ruins of a Bangladeshi garment factory, where at last count more than 220 people have died and scores more are missing, is a stark reminder that in a world where consumers demand ever lower prices, the cost of a bargain can be too high, it says.

The disaster in Bangladesh was first and foremost the fault of the building’s owner. A local politician, he used his influence to circumvent building regulations and extend a complex rented out to factories making clothes for cut-price store brands such as the UK’s Primark.

But the world’s big retailers, most of which have flocked to profit from Bangladesh’s low wages and poor working conditions, share responsibility for operating in a country where such abuse is rife.  read more. & read more.

Logo  daily star bd

_____update 14.40h.(LT)____

* Death toll rises to 391 with 2 more bodies found:

Two more bodies were recovered from the wreckage of the eight-storey Rana Plaza building in Savar on Tuesday morning in the second phase of rescue operation, raising the death toll to 391.

Nearly 111 hours after the Rana Plaza collapse, the 2nd phase of rescue operation using heavy equipment started at 12:10 am Monday.

With the recovery of two more bodies from the debris between 7:30 am and 10 am today (Tuesday), the death toll from the Rana Plaza collapse now stands at 391, said director of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Jafar Imam Sikdar.

read more. & read more. & read more.

  logo  wf-escenic-times

 * Terrorists? Arrest ‘Em (Unless They’re Walmart):

When terrorist bombers killed three people in Boston, the FBI moved heaven and earth to apprehend them. When suppliers to Walmart and other brands in Bangladesh killed more than 360 people April 24 in one of their garment factory death traps, the FBI sat on its hands. But those responsible—Walmart’s board of directors—are well known and could be easily apprehended.

On the very day of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, one of the survivors of a November 2012 fire at Tazreen Fashion, near Dhaka, Sumi Abedin, was in San Francisco. She and another former garment worker from Bangladesh, Kalpona Akter, had tickets to attend a gala fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel for the Latino Community Foundation, which is led by Aida Alvarez, a prominent member of Walmart’s board.

Not surprisingly, the Foundation denied Abedin and Akter access to the fundraiser, along with other Walmart workers from the Bay Area and Southern California who’d planned to attend. Instead, they and their supporters rallied outside the Fairmont, demanding justice for Walmart workers all along the supply chain. read more.

* Ether Tex violates labor law:

Ether Tex, one of top garments situated at the collapsed Rana Plaza, lacked government registration and approval of design, which is ‘violation of labor law’.

Labour Ministry sent a letter to the factory mentioning some discrepancies and to take necessary steps in this regard.

On April 3, a team of the government inspected the factory and reported that it had violated nine articles of Labour Act-2006. The team, however, found no sign of crack in the building then.

The letter mentioned that Ether Tex had no workers’ register, no fire extinguishing instrument and no emergency exit.

Ether Tex also didn’t take approval from factory inspector about working time table. The factory didn’t check electrical instruments regularly.   read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Primark says it will pay compensation to Bangladeshi victims:

Clothing chain Primark said it will pay an unspecified amount of compensation to the victims of the Bangladesh building collapse who worked for its supplier New Wave and urged other retailers to “come forward” and offer help.

Compensation will include long-term aid for children who have lost parents, financial aid for the injured and payments to parents of the deceased, the London-based company said today in a statement.

Primark said its supplier shared the building with other retailers and that the retailer is “fully aware of our responsibility.”    read more. & read more. & read more.

    IRISHTIMES  wf-escenic-times

* Loblaw to pay compensation:

Canada’s Loblaw Companies Ltd on Monday became the second Western fashion retailer to promise compensation for the families of victims of the Bangladesh garment factory collapse that killed nearly 400 people last week.

Loblaw, which had some of its Joe Fresh clothing line manufactured at Rana Plaza, followed British retailer Primark in offering to compensate victims of the South Asian country’s worst industrial accident.

“We will be providing compensation for the families of the victims who worked for our supplier,” said spokeswoman Julija Hunter in an email.

read more. & read more.

daily star bd  logo

* Benetton Paper Trail Discovered in Rana Plaza Rubble:

Benetton’s relationship with Rana Plaza factory supplier New Wave Style extended beyond the ‘one-off’ order

Italian fashion giant Benetton had a prolonged relationship with at least one supplier based at the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh which collapsed last Wednesday, documents found on the rubble and obtained by IBTimes UK can reveal.

The company, which on the day of the tragedy denied that garment factories in the Dhaka building were suppliers to Benetton Group, has admitted that “a one-time order was completed and shipped out by one of the manufacturers involved several weeks prior to the incident”.

The illegally constructed, eight-storey building collapsed last Wednesday leaving at least 382 people killed.

However, documents found in the Rana Plaza rubble and photographed by the Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF) and Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) fand passed onto the International Labor Rights Forum, indicate Benetton had a protracted relationship with New Wave Style Limited.

read more.

International Business Times UK

* HC orders confiscation of Rana, factory owners’ property:

The High Court on Tuesday directed the government to immediately confiscate all the movable and immovable property of Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza, and the proprietors of five garment factories housed in the Savar building that collapsed on Wednesday.

The HC also ordered the inspector general of registration to issue a circular to all the registrars across the country to take step so that their properties are not transferred or sold.

The four other accused are: Anisur Rahman, chairman of Ether Tex; Aminul Islam, chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd and Phantom Tack Ltd; Bazlus Samad Adnan, chairman of New Wave Buttons; and its managing director Mahbubur Rahman Tapash. read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo  DAILY SUN

* Savar Tragedy: Quader for quick trial of those responsible:

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said the trial of those responsible for the Savar disaster would have to be completed quickly, if necessary through the Speedy Trial Tribunal.

“It’s another type of crimes against humanity. The responsible persons will have to be tried as soon as possible. If necessary, they’ll have to be tried under speedy trial tribunal,” he told reporters while visiting the site of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar.  read more.

* Victims’ relatives stage sit-in:

Around 100 relatives of the victims of the Savar tragedy whose dead bodies are yet to be recovered from the debris staged protests in front of the national press club on Tuesday.  to read.

daily star bd

* 100 RMG workers hurt in police action:

At least 100 Ready-Made Garments (RMG) workers were injured as police charged baton on them on the collapsed  Rana Plaza compound on Tuesday morning.

Of the injured, 22 were admitted to different local hospitals and private clinics in critical condition.

Witnesses said thousands of RMG workers, aggrieved over the Rana Plaza collapse that claimed 391 lives so far, from different garment factories in Savar-Ashulia industrial belt started gathering on the compound with processions from different places of the belt since 10am.  read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Workers’ protest in N’ganj; factories shut:

The agitated garment workers blocked two highways in Kanchpur on Tuesday morning demanding capital punishment to Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza.

The authorities of all garment factories in the area closed their factories amid the protest on Monday morning.

Police and witnesses said, RMG workers stopped working and started staging protest in Kanchpur. They blocked Dhaka-Sylhet highway and brought out rallies demanding capital punishment to Sohel Rana.   read more.

banglanews24 Logo

_____update 01.00h.(LT)____  (20130501)

 

* Three more bodies retrieved, ceaseless efforts continuing:

Rescuers today retrieved three more bodies as their second phase of salvage campaign using heavy equipment is underway since Sunday midnight at the site of collapsed eight-storey Rana Plaza.

“We have recovered three bodies this morning . . . until the last body, dead or alive, is retrieved our (salvage) efforts will continue ceaselessly,” commander of the salvage operations Major General Chowdhury Hassan Sarwardy told a press briefing at the collapse site.

He said the rescue officials estimated as high as 3,200 people used to work in the building while over 2,800 survivors and bodies were retrieved since the structure caved in six days ago.

Sarwardy added that two army sniffer dogs were kept ready to be engaged in tracing out bodies from under tonnes of concrete rubble but the rescuers were examining if there was any restriction in using the animals from religious points of view.

“It is very unlikely that someone is still alive under the rubble after passing nearly 148 hours of the building collapse . . . but Allah knows better,” he said.

read more. & read more.

BSS  banglanews24 Logo

* Dogs used to locate bodies:

Rescuers are using trained dogs to recover dead bodies from the debris of a high-rise collapse in Savar near the capital Dhaka.

The idea came from Maj Gen Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy of the Bangladesh Army’s 9th Infantry Division at a media briefing on Tuesday.

He said the army had two such trained dogs and that they would suggest the government to use them.

However, army personnel were seen using dogs to locate bodies at the wreckage site soon after the press conference ended.

Nine-storied Rana Plaza collapsed on Apr 24 killing nearly 400 people. Over 1,000 are still missing.  read more.

wf-escenic-times

* Labourers are dispossessed by a number of ways in B’desh: Unnayan Onneshan:

Unnayan Onneshan, an independent multidisciplinary think-tank, states that the development in Bangladesh is an aggregate product of multiple factors while labour remains at the core, yet labourers are dispossessed by a number of ways.

The research organisation has launched a book on the auspicious event of the International Labour Day titled ‘Accumulation and Alienation: State of Labour in Bangladesh 2013’.
The research organisation says that the fundamental challenge and the reasons for dispossession of labour in Bangladesh is the growing gaps between the creation of employment and the requirements for the new entrants into the labour force.
The growth rate of youth labour force during the period from 1999-2000 to 2010 has stood at 3.72 percent while the growth rate of total labour force was 3.37 percent per year.

“There is a growing disparity between the rate of growth in employment and unemployment, implying fragility of absorption capacity and vulnerability of labourers to low-wages and non-adherence of rights,” notes the think-tank.    read more.

* Union is the way, not outside pressure: Abed:

BRAC founder Fazle Hasan Abed says garment workers should be allowed to organise union to ensure basic pay and safety standards but he strongly discourages outside pressure on the nearly $20 billion industry.

 

In an op-ed column — Bangladesh Needs Strong Unions, Not Outside Pressure – that appeared in the New York Times on Monday, he warns against the consumers in the West stopping purchasing ‘Made in Bangladesh’ apparels following Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster in Savar.

Abed terms the Savar tragedy “one of the saddest chapters since we won our independence in 1971, precisely because the tragedy could easily have been prevented” even though Bangladesh suffers disasters quite frequently.

Dwelling upon the sentiment in the West following the latest deaths, he says: “I appreciate the unease a Westerner might feel knowing that the clothes on his or her back were stitched together by people working long hours in dangerous conditions.

read more.

wf-escenic-times

* Garment owners become bloodsuckers: Dr Wazedul:

The garments factories have turned into a valley of death at the hand of a section of profit-mongering industrialist due to their avarice and greed.

Dr Wazedul Islam Khan, coordinator of Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) and general secretary of Bangladesh Trade Union Centre, said this in an exclusive interview with the daily Kaler Kantho.

He accused the successive governments of protecting these entrepreneurs. A free trade union is indispensable to salvage workers from humanitarian catastrophe.

Had trade union been allowed, workers’ suffering might have ended contributing to increase in production.

He discussed various issues related to labour movement, economic-political character of the garment owners and the role of successive governments.

read more.

DAILY SUN

 

 

* Savar victims’ families, injured to be rehabilitated: PM:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday reiterated that her government will take necessary steps for the rehabilitation of the families of the garment workers who were killed and injured in the disastrous Savar building collapse.

She said family saving certificates would be given to them so that they could maintain their family expenses.
The Prime Minister said this while exchanging views withy the leaders of Peshajibi Shomonnoy Parishad at her office.

Hasina said arrangements to provide jobs to 100 workers in leather and leather goods factories have been made, while the BGMEA will arrange jobs for the rest of the workers of Rana Plaza.  read more.  & read more. & read more.

  newstodayBD

* Wounded rescuer to be flown to S’pore:

A rescuer, who sustained burn injuries while trying to rescue trapped garment worker Shaheena from Rana Plaza rubble Sunday night, will be flown to Singapore for treatment.

Abdul Aziz, whose details could not be learnt immediately, is scheduled to be sent to Singapore on a special flight.

“We have decided and taken steps to send him to Singapore for better treatment,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told members of Peshajibi Samunnay Parishad during a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) around Tuesday noon.

The PMO will bear his treatment cost, estimated to be around Tk 1.40 crore, sources at the PMO told The Daily Star.

to read.  & read more.

daily star bd 

* BGMEA to help garment workers replace their limbs:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will help the injured garment workers, who lost their limbs in the Savar building collapse, to replace the limbs.

“We held a fruitful discussion with CRP’s Sister Valerie Tailor on Monday to replace the limbs of injured workers. CRP, BGMEA and some NGOs will help the injured workers to replace their limbs,” BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said at a press conference at the BGMEA Bhaban here Tuesday evening.

About the number of injured workers, he said nearly 515 garment workers are currently under treatment at different hospitals and clinic in the capital and in Savar.

read more. & read more. & read more.

  logo 

* Donation & help pours in for Savar victims:

Different organisations and an individual on Tuesday donated over Tk 3 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the assistance of the Savar tragedy victims.

Briefing reporters, PM press secretary Abul Kalam Azad said that chairman of United Group Hassan Mahmud Raja handed over a cheque of Tk 2.5 crore to the Prime Minister at her office.

Besides, the Authorities of Fareast Islamic Life Insurance Company gave a cheque of Tk 25 lakh, chairman of Bagerhat Sea Food Industry S M Amjad Hossain personally donated Tk 25 lakh while President of Old Foujian Association Major retired Sabur gave a cheque of Tk 2 lakh.

to read. & read more. & read more.  & read more. & read more.

  wf-escenic-times  daily star bd  

* AG for Tk 1cr compensation for each family:

Attorney General Mahbub-e-Alam on Tuesday proposed Tk 600 crore as compensation to the victims of Savar Rana Plaza.

He came up with the proposal when the owner of Rana Plaza and concerned Garments’ owners were produced before an HC bench comprising Justice Mirza Hossain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshed Alam.

In the hearing, he said, “All the main perpetrators of the ‘collapse and its consequences’ are detained. Taka one crore has to be compensated to each of the victims’ families.”

He added: “Half of the money could be paid by the building owner and the other half by the RMG factory owners.”  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Rana Plaza Graft: ACC team visits site:

A team of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday visited the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar to probe the allegation of serious irregularities in the construction of Rana Plaza and amassing of illegal wealth by its owner Sohel Rana. 

ACC director Tahidul Islam, its deputy director M Mafidul Islam and assistant director Mahbubul Alam visited the ruined building in the afternoon, the Commission sources said. read more. & read more.

* Allegations of concealing Bodies- It’s not true says rescue coordinator:

Relatives of Rana Plaza victims who are still missing said on Tuesday that some bodies of dead victims were concealed, an allegation the rescuers rejected outright.

Saying that it is their first priority to rescue the survivors from under the rubble, if there is any, Maj Gen Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy of the 9th Infantry Division, which is leading the rescue operation now, said they were putting their best efforts to pull out the bodies unhurt.

“It would be very painful if people think this way. We are rescuing people risking our lives and this kind of thought will break our mental strength,” he said, referring to the allegation.

His reaction came at a press briefing near the nine-storey collapsed building Tuesday following allegations made at the site and at a demonstration in front of the Jatiya Press Club (JPC).

Around 100 relatives of the missing victims started a sit-in in front of the JPC at about 11:45am.  read more.

daily star bd

* Rana’s father on 13-day remand:

A Dhaka court on Tuesday remanded Abdul Khalek, father of Sohel Rana, owner of a collapsed building in Savar, for 13 days in two cases — one filed for violating the building code, and the other for loss of lives and damages.

Khalek was arrested from Moghbazar in the capital on Monday.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Wasim Sheikh passed the order after the Detective Branch of police produced Khalek before him with a 20-day remand in the cases.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo  

* HC bans transfer of wealth of Rana, 4 RMG owners:

The High Court (HC) on Tuesday imposed a ban on the transfer of all moveable and immovable property of Sohel Rana, owner of the crashed Rana Plaza, and the four owners of five garment factories housed in it.

The four garment factory owners are Aminul Islam of Phantom Apparels Ltd and Phantom Tex Ltd, Anisur Rahman of Ether Tex Ltd, Bazlus Samad of New Wave Bottoms Ltd and Mahmudur Rahman Tapos of New Wave Style Ltd.

read more. & read more. & read more.

  daily star bd 

* Another held for helping Sohel Rana to flee:

Detective Branch (DB) of police on Tuesday morning detained a man on charge of helping Sohel Rana, the owner of collapsed Rana Plaza, to flee.

DB source said they detained Abul Hasan (43) from a building in city’s Malibagh area around 11 am.

Four days after the Savar tragedy, members of elite Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested Sohel Rana from Benapole in Jessore on Sunday, foiling his bid to flee to India.

The death toll from the disastrous building collapse has reached to 391 till Tuesday.

to read.

* How Rana fled after rescue:

Murad Jong phones him 20mins into building collapse; taken away by the MP’s vehicle

While ruling-Awami League lawmaker Murad Jong has been denying any kind of association with Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building in Savar, Rana’s mobile phone record shows how close they were.

According to Rab sources, at 9:05am on Wednesday, just 20 minutes after the collapse, Murad Jong had called Rana over the mobile phone to enquire about his condition. Rana, however, could not receive the call, as he got trapped inside the building and was almost unconscious.

After his arrest Rana told Rab that he had gone to his office in the basement of Rana Plaza around 8:00am that day. He was holding a meeting with his five aides on an anti-hartal procession. When the building collapsed about 45 minutes later, he had fainted.

His associates soon pleaded the locals through a crushed window to rescue them. Rana was rescued with a minor injury in a hand, he told Rab.

read more.

daily star bd

* 10 hurt in cop-worker clash in Savar:

At least 10 people were injured in a series of clashes between workers and police in Savar on Tuesday.

The agitating workers vandalised 20 vehicles, disrupting traffic movement on the Dhaka-Aricha highway.

The workers have been demonstrating against the deaths of their fellow workers in Savar building collapse and death penalty to the building owner, Sohel Rana.

Rana Plaza, a nine-storey building housing five garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex, collapsed on April 24 trappings several thousand people inside it. The building collapse death toll now stands 386.

Locals said hundreds of workers started demonstration at different points in Savar including Hotapara, Genda, Urail and Rajfulbaria since 8:30am Tuesday.

read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  logo  newstodayBD

* Over 300 RMG units forced to suspend production amid protest:

More than 300 garment units at Savar and Ashulia on Tuesday were forced to suspend production amid workers’ protest demanding capital punishment of Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, Rana Plaza garment units’ owners, arrest of the local lawmaker Murad Jong and Savar upazila nirbahi officer Kabir Hossain Sarder.

The workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway at Zamgora and Zirabo of Ashulia and Dhaka-Aricha highway at Ulail and Fulbaria for three and half hours blocking traffic movement on the highways.

At least 25 workers were injured as police charged baton and fired rubber bullets to disperse the agitating workers from the highways.  read more.

* PM urges workers to refrain for violent acts to protect industry:

Terming unleashing violent acts in mills and factories by so-called workers as suicidal, Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina today made a fervent appeal to the workers to refrain from such activities to protect the garment industry.

“Attacking and vandalizing mills and factories in the name of expressing of grievance are what type works? I don’t believe that all of them are workers as the real workers cannot attack or vandalize the mills and factories which earn bread and butter for them,” she said.

“I would like to tell the workers to keep their head cool, keep mills and factories operative, otherwise you would become unemployed,” she added.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

BSS  wf-escenic-times  newstodayBD daily star bd   

* Vested quarter out to destroy RMG industry, says BGMEA:

Apparel industry leaders accused on Tuesday a ‘vested quarter’ of having been engaged in destroying the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry by creating anarchy and unrest in the name of Rana Plaza collapse.

“Many factories in Ashulia, Savar and Gazipur remained closed today (Tuesday) and a vested group is instigating the workers for creating unrest,” Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Atiqul Islam said at a press conference held at the association’s headquarters in the city Tuesday.

He called upon all workers to join the factories on Thursday and resume production for the betterment of the sector and to make timely shipment of the products.

read more.

* Law enforcers remain alert at apparel hubs :

Law enforcement agencies have been asked to remain alert around the country’s apparel industrial hubs on fear of violent protests by workers centring May Day.

The law enforcers have also been directed to handle the protesting workers with patience so that the violence, if it happens, cannot further flare up that could jolt the garment factories.

The authorities engaged to ensure smooth law and order in apparel belts took the precautionary measures following intelligent report that a vested interest group can instigate workers towards massive protests to cash in Rana Plaza tragedy.

read more.

* Leathergoods manufacturers extend help to Savar victims :

Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) donates Tk 50 lakh for the medical treatment of the Savar Victims while pledging to absorb 1,000 employees from the Savar tragedy into the leather sector.

A team of delegates from the association, led by its President Syed Nasim Manzur, met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office Saturday to convey their condolences and extend all out support from the organization to the victims of the Savar tragedy.

The delegates conveyed their deepest appreciation for the earnest efforts rescue workers and the timely response from the state in ensuring proper medical and logistical support to the victims.  read more.

DAILY SUN

* Govt for sustainable growth of apparel sector: Inu:

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu today said the government will implement the recommendations of the probe committees for smooth functioning of the garment sector of the country.

“The cabinet along with the apex body of the country’s apparel sector Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have already formed two high profile probe committees to detect any fault in other factories located at the multi-storey buildings in the country”, said the minister at a press conference at his secretariat office here.

The government will take necessary action to implement the recommendations of the probe committees for smooth and sustainable growth of the apparels industries of the country, the minister pointed out.  read more.

BSS

 20130501

* Many still missing in Savar:

Relatives see no hope of getting back their dear ones alive; 4 more bodies found

 

With unnumbered decomposed bodies remaining stuck in concrete slabs of the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar, rescuers yesterday recovered four more bodies while removing the building debris.

With this, the number of bodies recovered rose to 388 on the seventh day of the rescue operation. No person was rescued alive in the last two days.

Also yesterday, rescuers used two trained dogs to trace the dead.

Relatives of those still missing are losing patience. Neither the police nor the military could say the figure of the missing persons. Many estimated the number would be several hundred.

“We are not going for massive demolition since there are bodies at different places of the building. We are trying to recover the bodies without any deformation,” Lt Col Moin Uddin of Third Engineering Battalion (Savar Cantonment) told The Daily Star.

It could take another 12-15 days to remove the debris if a concerted effort is made. However, it might not be possible as the rescuers become careful whenever a body is found, he mentioned.  read more.

daily star bd

* Survived, only to suffer:

Rikta Moni suddenly attempts to sit up on her bed, forgetting that a fracture in her spinal cord and several wounds in her body will not let her do so. Groaning in acute pain, she starts screaming, “Sister, get me out of here. The building is crumbling down!”

The building was not falling down. She just heard a very low sound of thunder. Neither was there Asha Begum, her elder sister whom a shuddering Rikta was calling out as she lay in a bed at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Sunday evening.

Eighteen-year-old Rikta was a sewing machine operator working on the third floor of Rana Plaza that caved in last week. Aasha, a quality controller on the same floor, is yet to be found.

“Any minor sound can cause panic among this type of victims so much that they may start to hallucinate in any situation,” Muntasir Maruf, assistant registrar of National Institute of Mental Health, has told The Daily Star.

read more.

daily star bd

* Savar tragedy sheds light on workers’ safety:

It has become a common newspaper heading for the last few years that workers have died of some sort of accident to at their workplaces. The epic tragedy of “Rana Plaza” is one of the most unfortunate mass deaths this country has seen.

Before this, the fire break-outs took more than 100 lives in “Tazreen Fashions” factory in Ashulia, 25 lives in “Garib and Garib” garments factory in Gazipur and eight in Shampur, Dhaka.

In most cases, according to various news reports, investigation team(s) has been working to find out the internal malfunctions resulting into such devastations.

The police said charges would be brought against the owners of the factories possibly for manslaughter, which is a form of unlawful killing. But the truth is there is no specific law for punishment of the persons responsible.

Even if punishment is inflicted under the Penal Code, putting a few of the factory owners behind bars is not going to improve the neglecting attitude of the owner class.  read more.

daily star bd

* Owners probe owners’ fault:

The BGMEA’s initiatives to ensure safety compliance in apparel factories seem to be an eyewash to cover up the faults of factory owners.

The trade body forms committees and taskforces after accidents in garment factories, but they never come up with any concrete findings that would eventually help ensure workers’ safety in factories.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association formed a committee led by its member Ali Azam Khan to probe the Spectrum Sweater factory collapse that killed 64 workers in April 2005. The committee was asked to submit report in seven days, but it has yet to do that even after seven years.

Following a devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions in November 2012, the trade body formed a taskforce to check whether apparel factories were complying with safety regulations.

read more. & read more.

daily star bd 

* Little signs of life in the rubble:

Huge cranes on Tuesday continued lifting away debris from the collapsed Rana Plaza with the authorities using sniffer dogs and sensor devices to search for bodies or survivors who might have still remained trapped under the rubble seven days into the disaster.

The authorities said the number of bodies still trapped under the rubble could hover around four or five hundred as they estimated that the number of people who were staying inside the building when it came crashing down on Wednesday morning might be around 3,200.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association vice-president SM Mannan had told New Age after the disaster that 3,400 people used to work in the garment units in the building while the survivors and locals put the number at about 5,000.

Though police stationed

at the Adhar Chandra High School premises listed over 1,000 missing workers, the control room set up by the army said they had no idea about the list. read more.

* After the Savar factory tragedy:

There is still no exact figure of how many people were in the building when the Rana Plaza  collapsed in the Dhaka suburb of Savar on Wednesday, 24 April but different estimates suggest that the figure was over 5000.

As of Sunday, the Combined Rescue team started using heavy equipment as there is little or no possibility of finding any more survivors.

Even after 100 hours, a worker from one of the garment factories, a Mr Shajahan, was rescued alive. However, I do not know if any more dead bodies will be found in the building at the last moment.

It is feared that as many as 1000 people are still missing.

One of Bangladesh’s leading English-language daily newspapers, the New Age, reports that the final number might even be as high as 1050 people. Many families and friends are waiting for news of their loved ones.

The latest figure has reached 397 but in one newspaper the death toll had crossed 400. I have not been able to watch the TV coverage of the rescue operation as I find it intolerable to see the pain and sufferings of human beings forced into such inhuman conditions.

In the meantime, several factory bosses and Rana Plaza owner Mohammed Sohel Rana have been arrested. Workers have been demonstrating since the building fell but various groups, such as students and teachers, have also staged demonstrations in front of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association office.

Speaking to activists in Savar just now, I have come to know that relatives of missing people are staging demonstrations there too.

The basic problems are this:

1. Employers are more powerful than the administration, but they do not care about the welfare of their workers

2. Except for a few, all workplaces in Bangladesh are unsafe

3. Health and safety laws are not enforced

4. Governor inspectors never inspect the factories.

5. Building codes are ignored

6.  Inadequate law to punish the employers and building owners

7.  No or few trade unions both government and employers do not want trade unions

read more.

* ILO to send high-level mission to Bangladesh following the Rana Plaza Building collapse:

The International Labour Organization (ILO) will send a high-level mission to Bangladesh in the coming days to offer its support and expedite action by all parties following the collapse of the Rana Plaza Building in Savar, which left at least 380 people dead.

The high-level mission will be led by ILO Deputy Director-General for Field Operations, Gilbert Houngbo.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said he was writing to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, urging immediate action to prevent a recurrence of the latest in a series of entirely avoidable workplace tragedies.  read more. & read more. & read more.

International Labour Organization    logo

* Missions abroad need to convince buyers: BGBA:

The Bangladesh Garment Buying House Association on Tuesday urged the government to give instructions to the Bangladesh missions abroad to sit with the buyers  and inform them about the government initiatives over the recent Savar tragedy.

Overseas buyers have expressed grave concern over the workplace standard in Bangladesh following the recent collapse of Rana Plaza, a nine-storey building that housed  five garment factories  along with other business establishments, killing nearly 400 garment  workers.

To earn confidence of the buyers the government and authorities concerned need to take prompt action over all the incidents in the garment sector

read more. & read more.

 

* Badal for building monument for Savar tragedy victims:

The ruling Grand Alliance lawmaker and JSD leader Moinuddin Khan Badal today proposed in parliament for building a monument for Savar tragedy victims on a one-acre plot.

This monument will expose two things-firstly the symbol of greedy men and secondly indomitable courage of Bangali nation, he said standing on a point of order.

Lauding the government’s actions within just 20 minutes of the incident,

Badal said the recovery of 2825 persons, including 2437 alive, is a rare example in the history of rescue operation.  read more.

BSS

* May Day today:

Tens of thousands of working people of the country along with the rest of the world will join street rallies and other activities to raise iron voice for ensuring their rights and working safety along with upholding spirit of May Day today (Wednesday), reports BSS.

The Savar catastrophe will surely add fresh vigour to worker’s voice in this year’s May Day while every faction of the society marked this manmade tragic incident as a wake up bell for ensuring workers’ safety.

Workers groups and trade unions, political parties, different government and socio- cultural organizations chalked out elaborate programmes to celebrate the day under the theme ‘Safe working- environment, Bangladesh to Advance’.

read more. & read more. 

newstodayBD 

* May Day today:

May Day, as the International Labour Day is known in this country, will be celebrated in Bangladesh today with heavy hearts in the backdrop of hundreds of workers losing life in apparel factory collapse at Savar.

The workers are demanding exemplary  punishment to those responsible for the culpable homicide of the unsuspecting workers.

Bodies of at least 387 apparel workers could be

recovered from the debris of the multi-storied Rana Plaza at Savar, housing five apparel factories, that collapsed on April 24.

May Day commemorates the 1886 workers uprising at Haymarket in Chicago for their legitimate rights including eight-hour working day. read more.

* Message of May Day 2013:

The historic May Day had its roots in Haymarket in Chicago of the United States. On May 1, 1986 some workers were shot dead by the police when they started agitating for fixing working time of eight hours a day. They made history. The communist parties in Europe, through the Congress of Second International, introduced 1st May as the International Workers’ Day.

Today in 2013, Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka city, epitomises the repeat of the Haymarket lessons in Bangladesh. Here about hundreds of garment workers became victims of a man-made disaster, caused by their employers. Countless decomposed corpses remained under the debris of a collapsed 9-storey building Rana Plaza by name on April 24, 2013. Here about 3,000 ill-fated garment workers did not bring out any procession nor did they take part in any demonstration. They were called in and forced to come to work in a building that developed cracks earlier.

The readymade garments (RMG), which is the single largest export sector of Bangladesh, employs about eight million workers. The low cost of production is due to low wages. Female workers constitute about 80 per cent of the labour force in the garment sector. They are not only low-paid but also they do not earn enough money for their proper housing and medical facilities. Generally, these workers are used to live in nearby slums and come to the factories on foot.  read more.

* Extreme pricing. At what cost? :

Take a few moments to browse fashion retailer Joe Fresh’s crisp, minimalist website and you might just succumb to sticker shock. For once, it’ll be because you can’t remember the last time you saw a pair of jeans this cool for $19.

Old Navy charges $34.50 for their incarnation of this season’s colourful denim trend, and they do so without Joe Fresh’s cachet as the fun new kid on the fast fashion block.

The brand is the brainchild of Joe Mimran, perhaps Canada’s best known merchant and the co-founder of Club Monaco, which he sold to Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1999. In 2004, Mimran was hired by Canada’s second richest person, department store billionaire Galen Weston, to develop a clothing line for his supermarket chain Loblaw Inc. Since its 2006 debut, Joe Fresh has grown far beyond the confines of supermarket aisles into a household name, with over 300 stores in Canada.

read more.

daily star bd

* Global labour rights groups want BD to strictly abide by bldg, safety codes:

International labour rights’ groups want Bangladesh to strictly abide by its building and safety codes to avoid future tragedies in the country’s apparel sector.

The groups are also in favour of maintaining internationally recognised labour standards in readymade garment (RMG) and knitwear making factories in Bangladesh that fetch more than US$19 billion annually in gross export receipts.

The global labour rights’ groups raised their strong voice especially after the Savar tragedy which took a total of 387 lives (until 4.30pm on Tuesday) of workers, mostly women, in the apparel-making sector in Bangladesh.

The rights’ groups, based in the USA and Europe, are mostly dedicated to improving working conditions and supporting workers’ empowerment in the global garment industries.

(…)

The labour rights’ groups also want introduction of trade unions in the apparel industry.

Many of them want a fully transparent supply-chain in the apparel sector and ‘respect’ for workers and a decent wage-payment structure for them.

“We’re urging all brands and retailers to source clothing from Bangladesh by joining the fire safety programmes of PVH and Tchibo with workers’ representation before more workers are killed in garment factories,” Liana Foxvog, a spokeswoman at the Washington-based International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF) told the FE through e-mail.  read more.

* Labour law amendment in the offing:

The government is planning to bring drastic changes in the labour law that would provide greater benefits to apparel factory owners but marginalise the workers, labour leaders said.

On April 22, the cabinet approved a draft bill seeking to amend the Bangladesh Labour Law Act 2006.

Labour Ministry officials said that the drastic changes in the existing law were proposed in consultations with the apparel industry owners.

The draft bill seeks to exempt the apparel industry from Section 232 of the law, which requires all factory owners to share five percent of their profits with the workers.

But Bangladesh Employers’ Federation had requested the government to exempt all the export oriented industries from the provision.

Labour Ministry officials said that the apparel factory owners never contributed to the labour welfare fund since it was created.  read more.

_____update 11.00h.(LT)____ 

* Two more bodies found, death toll reaches 389:

Two more bodies were recovered from the debris of the collapsed eight-storey Rana Plaza building in Savar on Tuesday morning.

With this, the death toll rose to 389, Dhaka district deputy commissioner Md Yusuf Harun said. Nearly 111 hours after the Rana Plaza had collapsed, the second phase of the rescue operation using heavy equipment started at 12:10 am on Monday. Nearly 2,435 people have been rescued so far, and the search for survivors is still going on, Harun said.

So far, 343 bodies have been handed over to the victims’ families. Of those rescued, one died at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Tuesday, executive magistrate Shamima Shanti said. She also said that there were 23 dead bodies at the DMCH morgue and 22 bodies at the Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital morgue.  read more.

logo

* EU considers trade action:

The European Union voiced strong concern over labour conditions in Bangladesh after a building collapse there killed hundreds of factory workers, and said it was considering action to encourage improvements, including the use of its trade preference system.

Anger has been growing since the illegally built structure collapsed on April 24, killing at least 388 people. Hundreds remain unaccounted for but rescue officials said on Tuesday they had given up hope of finding any more survivors.

It was the third deadly incident in six months to raise questions about worker safety and labour conditions in the poor South Asian country, which relies on garments for 80 percent of its exports.  read more. & read more.

daily star bd banglanews24 Logo

* Pledge to protect workers’ rights:

The historic May Day is being observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe on Wednesday with a renewed pledge to protect the rights of workers.

The day came when Bangladesh is dealing with Savar tragedy that killed 388 people, mostly garment workers.

The disaster occurred on April 24 when nine-storey Rana Plaza housing five garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping mall collapsed, trapping several thousand people inside it.

So far, 2,437 people pulled out alive beneath the debris of the building.

It is reported that the factory owners forced workers to join at work following a false assurance on the building’s safety, though several cracks had developed on some pillars and a few floors of the building following a jolt, a day before the collapse, violating labour rights.  read more.

daily star bd

* Death toll rises to 404:

At least 404 garments workers have been found dead and thousands others injured as an 8-storied building–Rana Plaza–collapsed in Savar bus stand area of Dhaka on Wednesday morning.

The rescue team identified some 354 bodies and handed over to family and relatives.

Death toll may rise as many others were still trapped in the collapsed building. Police and hospital sources confirmed the matter to banglanews.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

_____update 00.20h.(LT)____  (20130502)

 

* Clashes erupt over Bangladesh building owner:

Protesters demand death penalty for owner of collapsed building as court orders confiscation of his assets.

A top Bangladesh court has ordered the government to “immediately” confiscate the property of a collapsed building’s owner, as thousands of protesters demanding death penalty for the man clashed with police, leaving 100 people injured.

A two-judge panel of the High Court on Tuesday also asked the central bank to freeze the assets of the owners of the five garment factories in the building, and use the money to pay the salaries and other benefits of their workers.

The order came after police produced Mohammed Sohel Rana and the factory owners in court. The order did not elaborate but it was implied that the salaries of the dead victims would be paid to their relatives. The court has given the police 15 days to interrogate Rana. read more.

aljazeera

* Retailers seek plan to prevent disasters like ones in Bangladesh:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., WMT -0.85% Gap Inc., GPS +1.28% and Hennes & Mauritz AB HM-B.SK +0.22% met with about 30 Western retailers, labor groups and nongovernmental organizations to work on a plan to prevent industrial disasters like last week’s deadly building collapse in Bangladesh. 

The discussions included creating a clearinghouse of factory-inspection results, so companies can see where other retailers stopped production over safety concerns, participants said. The group plans to publish the results of the talks in May, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Gap, Wal-Mart and H&M all confirmed they attended Monday’s meeting in Eschborn, a town near Frankfurt, at the headquarters of GIZ, a German federal agency. A spokeswoman for El Corte Inglés SA, the Spanish department-store chain, confirmed discussions of a program aimed at monitoring and improving Bangladesh’s industrial infrastructure.  read more. & read more. & read more.

  BSS daily star bd

* Retailer Joe Fresh sends reps to Bangladesh as death toll rises:

Take a few moments to browse fashion retailer Joe Fresh’s crisp, minimalist website and you might just succumb to sticker shock. For once, it’ll be because you can’t remember the last time you saw a pair of jeans this cool for $19.

Old Navy charges $34.50 for their incarnation of this season’s colorful denim trend, and they do so without Joe Fresh’s cachet as the fun new kid on the fast fashion block.

(…)

The Monday after the deadly collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar, Bangladesh, Joe Fresh parent company Loblaw joined fellow retailers Sears Canada and Wal-Mart Canada at an emergency meeting of the Retail Council of Canada to discuss how to combat working conditions in sweatshops. read more.

* More bodies recovered:

This April 30 photo shows cranes lifting concrete blocks from the debris of Rana Plaza as the rescue operation enters day seven. The rescuers started using heavy equipment Sunday night in the second phase of the operation.

Rescuers pulled out  more bodies from the debris of Rana Plaza in Savar when the rescue operation stepped into eighth straight day on Wednesday.

With the fresh recovery, the death toll of the deadly building collapse now stands 402, according to an account of Dhaka District control room which is opened to provide information on the Savar tragedy.

No person was rescued alive in the last two days, keeping the figure of survivors unchanged at 2,437.

Rescuers gave up hope of finding any more alive as the tragedy stepped into eighth straight day.

People believe that unnumbered decomposed bodies remain stuck in concrete slabs of the sandwiched building.  read more.

daily star bd

* Only 149 are missing, claims Army:

The coordinator of the rescue operations in Savar has claimed that only 149 people are still missing in the country’s worst ever industrial disaster.

General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Bangladesh Army’s 9th Infantry Division Major General Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardi, who is leading the operation, came up with the figure at a press conference on Wednesday.

The disclosure comes amidst confusion over the exact number of people who got buried under the rubble.

He said the figure was determined on the basis of a list released by the Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka. But he could not specify what the premise of such listing was.  read more.

wf-escenic-times

* Unclaimed laid to rest:

Jurain graveyard. Photo: STAR

Jurain graveyard. Photo: STAR

The serenity of Jurain graveyard seems more than other days on Wednesday as 32 workers whose bodies remained unclaimed made their final journey.

The victims of the deadly Savar building collapse remained unsung as nobody could own them.

They were stashed into three corpse-carrier owned by Anjuman Mufidul Islam, a charity organisation that provides free burial service, and taken for burial at the graveyard in the capital.  read more.

daily star bd

* Ensure workplace safety, workers’ welfare: PM to entrepreneurs:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the country’s mill and factory owners to ensure the safety and overall welfare of their workers if they want to do business.

“You (owners) will have to ensure workers’ fair wages, allowances and other rights…you must look after their workplace safety if you want to do business,” she said while addressing a discussion at Osmani Memorial Auditorium marking the historic May Day.

The Prime Minister also called upon the workers not to be misguided with false propaganda and involve in any destructive activities as those are suicidal for the country’s economy.

read more.  & read more. & read more.

  logo  wf-escenic-times

* ILO assures of all-out support for capacity building:

International Labour Organization (ILO) on Wednesday assured Bangladesh of extending its all-out support for capacity building to protect the interests of the workers, including the rehabilitation of the Savar tragedy victims.

ILO Deputy Director General Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo gave the assurance during a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the VIP room of Osmani Memorial Auditorium after a May Day discussion.

read more.  & read more.  & read more. & read more.

  BSS  logo  banglanews24 Logo

* Action can prevent further tragedy: ILO DG:

Director-General (DG) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Guy Ryder has said the horror and regret following Savar building collapse must translate into urgent firm action to prevent further tragedy.

“Action now can prevent further tragedy. Inaction would mean that the next tragedy is simply a matter of time. The ILO urges the government of Bangladesh and employers and trade unions to make use of its support and ensure that the Rana Plaza tragedy is the last of its kind,” Ryder said in a message.

read more. & read more.

  BSS

* Canadian retail council to update trade guidelines after Bangladesh disaster:

The Retail Council of Canada will develop an updated set of “responsible trade” guidelines in the aftermath of the tragedy in Bangladesh that left almost 390 people dead – mostly in garment factories housed in a building that collapsed last week.

 

The council’s statement on Tuesday evening came a day after Toronto-based Loblaw Cos. Ltd. said it would compensate people tied to victims of the disaster.

read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Bangladeshis demand worker safety as toll tops 400:

Thousands of workers paraded through central Dhaka on May Day to demand safety at work and the death penalty for the owner of a garment factory building that collapsed last week in the country’s worst industrial disaster, killing at least 402 people and injuring 2,500.

A raucous procession of workers on foot, pickup trucks and motorcycles wound its way through central Dhaka on Wednesday. They waved the national flag and banners, beat drums and chanted “direct action!” and “death penalty!

”From a loudspeaker on the back of a truck, a participant spoke for the group: “My brother has died. My sister has died. Their blood will not be valueless.” read more.

asiancorres

* Bangladesh garment workers voice safety fears:

Factory employees speak to Al Jazeera about their concern for their own lives after latest incident to hit industry.

The collapse of the Rana Plaza on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, shocked the country and lead the government to declare a national day of mourning.

Rescue teams are still working their way through the rubble of what used to be an eight-storey building, pulling out survivors and recovering the bodies of those less fortunate.

Several garment factories were located in the complex, and as reports emerge that managers ignored warnings to evacuate the buildings, anger is growing around the poor safety standards suffered by textile workers. read more.

aljazeera

* Europe action would have big impact:

If Bangladesh were to lose its preferential trading status with Europe over conditions in its garment factories, it could face hundreds of millions of dollars in duties and limits on access to its largest trading partner.

EU officials said on Wednesday they hoped the threat of action would be enough to make Bangladesh change its laws to secure a market which formed over a quarter of the south Asian state’s $40.5 billion annual exports in 2011. Any action would likely take more than a year.

“This is about firing a shot across the bows of Bangladesh to get them to engage on the issue,” an EU official told Reuters. “We want to turn up the diplomatic heat on them and get them to sit down and discuss this with us.”

The European Union said late on Tuesday the 27-country bloc would reconsider its status unless Bangladesh improves labour safety standards after a garment factory collapse killed hundreds last week.  read more.read more.

wf-escenic-times  wf-escenic-times

 * Salvage campaign continues at Savar, 32 unclaimed bodies buried:

Rescuers today continued their operation with utmost sincerity and “honour” from thedebris of collapsed Rana Plaza at suburban Savar and 21 more bodies were retrieved raising the death toll to 412 so far.

“Our salvage campaign still continues ceaselessly . . . as the survey report conducted by the district administration claimed that some 149 people remained still missing till today. And we are trying to retrieve the bodies intact and with due honour”, commander of the salvage operations Major General Chowdhury Hassan Sarwardy told at a press briefing at the collapse site. He added: “It is very unlikely that someone is still alive under the rubble on the seventh day of the building collapse . . . but the almighty Allah knows better”.

Our Savar Correspondent reports: Rescuers recovered 21 bodies mostly decomposed which could not be identified while over 2,443 of them were rescued alive from under tonnes of concrete rubbles at Rana Plaza’s collapse site till today, the 8th day of the rescue operation.

read more. & read more. & read more.

BSS  banglanews24 Logo 

_____update 10.50h.(LT)____

 

20130502

* 11 more bodies retrieved- Death toll now 427:

Rescuers pulled out 11 more bodies removing the debris of Rana Plaza in Savar Thursday morning raising the death toll to 427 when the rescue operation stepped into ninth straight day.

Dhaka District control room which is opened to provide information on the Savar tragedy provided the fresh account.

No person was rescued alive in the last three days, keeping the figure of survivors unchanged at 2,437.

Rescuers gave up hope of finding any more alive eight days after the tragedy.

read more.

daily star bd

* EU considers trade action:

The European Union voiced strong concern over labour conditions in Bangladesh after a building collapse there killed hundreds of factory workers, and said it was considering action to encourage improvements, including the use of its trade preference system.

Anger has been growing since the illegally built structure collapsed on April 24, killing at least 402 people. Hundreds remain unaccounted for but rescue officials said on Tuesday they had given up hope of finding any more survivors.

It was the third deadly incident in six months to raise questions about worker safety and labour conditions in the poor South Asian country, which relies on garments for 80 percent of its exports.  read more. & read more.

daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo

20130502/3

_____update 00.45h.(LT)____

* Death toll rises to 442:

The death toll from the April 24 building collapse in Savar reached 442 on Thursday when the rescuers have continued their drive using heavy equipments.

So far 2,868 people were pulled out both alive and dead from the debris of the collapsed nine-storey building, Shahinul Islam, director of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), told reports during a press briefing at the Savar site.

“A responsible section has been spreading propaganda saying that many bodies have been concealed. This comment is not only hurting the relatives of the victims who remain still untraced, but also the rescuers, he said.

“The false allegation is very sad,” he told reporters during the briefing.

The exact number of the missing people still remains unknown as BGMEA could not provide an accurate list of the workers, he added.

The army, which is dealing with the rescue operation, arranged a milad mahfil at Savar for the victims.

On Thursday morning, rescuers pulled out several bodies removing the debris of the nine-storey Rana Plaza.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd    BSS   Logo

* Bangladesh minister rebuts safety criticism:

Government “working hard to improve labour conditions and safety standards” as building collapse toll crosses 400 mark.

The foreign minister of Bangladesh has defended the government’s initiatives to improve labour rights in the country, amid mounting pressure over perceived lax safety standards blamed for last week’s deadly building collapse.

Dipu Moni spoke to Al Jazeera on Wednesday as the confirmed death toll from the collapse of the illegally built Rana Plaza near the capital Dhaka crossed the 400 mark.

There have been widespread accusations that safety regulations are both insufficient and rarely enforced in Bangladesh’s $20bn garment industry, as the collapse was only the latest in a string of deadly disasters. read more.

aljazeera

* Foreign minister rebuts safety criticism:

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has defended the government’s initiatives to improve labour rights in the country, amid mounting pressure over perceived lax safety standards blamed for last week’s deadly building collapse.

Moni spoke to Al Jazeera on Wednesday as the confirmed death toll from the collapse of the illegally built Rana Plaza near the capital Dhaka crossed the 400 mark.

There have been widespread accusations that safety regulations are both insufficient and rarely enforced in Bangladesh’s US$20 billion garment industry, as the collapse was only the latest in a string of deadly disasters.

Moni said a “culture of impunity” had prevailed in the country for many decades, making many people – including owners of buildings and factories – feel they did not need to comply with laws and building codes, according to the Aljazeera report.

read more.

daily star bd

 * Mayday Rally turns to a mourning day at Dhaka, Bangladesh:

IMG_7851-Optimized

Amidst widespread public condemnation surrounding the consecutive major factory disasters in Bangladesh since last year, the nation went into protests and demonstrations on Mayday 2013.

Since the Spectrum tragedy back in 2005, numerous small scale factory disasters have rattled the workers and their families, killing hundreds already and culminating in two of the most gruesome factory tragedies of industrial – the Tazreen Factory Inferno (November, 2012) and the Savar Factory Collapse (April, 2013), killing together several hundreds and amputating thousands for life.

The need today seem to start from better government policies, implementation of such policies, public resistance against having factories in residential areas, worker resistance to inhuman treatment, manufacturer’s awareness to ensure sustainability of their profits by ensuring a balanced atmosphere among all stake holders rather than a volatile and unstable one, and most importantly it is the top of the pyramid – the sourcing Brands – which need to come forward to put pressure on the entire system for a positive change.  read more.

* Punishment of owners of Rana Plaza, RMG factories demanded:

Civil rights group representing students, teachers, professionals and workers staged daylong sit-in outside the BGMEA building on May 1 to press its seven-point demand including capital punishment for the owners of Rana Paza and five garment factories causing the  deaths of hundreds of workers on April 24 at Savar.

 

Their demands included publication of a full list of those killed and injured in the collapse of multi-storey Rana Plaza on April 24, paying compensation of Tk 50 lakh to each victim and Tk 30 lakh for each injured worker.  read more.

* Compensation for Savar tragedy victims demanded:

Meherpur district BNP led by former lawmaker and national executive member Masud Arun brought out a huge mourning procession in the city on April 30 demanding trial of the killers of the Savar tragedy and proper compensation for the victims.

With the slogan “We are mournful losing kith and kin”a spontaneous gathering was held prior to the mourning procession in front of the town hall where Masud Arun said, the incident that took place at Rana Plaza in Savar was a genocide.

He demanded im-mediate trial of those responsible for the tragedy. Among others, BNP leaders Abdur Rahman, Alamgir Hossain Khan, Jamaat leader Sirajul Islam and BJP leader Sheikh Sayed Ahmed spoke. The mourning procession paraded the main streets.  read more.

logo

* May Day: Reflecting on Bangladesh factory disaster and corporate terror:

How is it that we label some acts of violence with the brush of global terrorism while others are relegated to the more mundane category of everyday violence? Tsarnaev brothers were instantly characterised as terrorists, and Muslim terrorists at that, with a national and social media frenzy dissecting their crimes boosted by the live spectacle of the “manhunt” in Boston.

(…)

The horrific factory fire on April 24 outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, that killed more than 400 people, mostly young Muslim women, and injured at least 1,000 more might conceivably also be understood as an example of globally networked violence.

The eight-storeyed Rana Plaza complex, where the fire broke out, housed a variety of businesses, including a bank and five garment factories that employed 3,122 garment workers. Workers noticed a large crack in the building on April 23 and the building collapsed the next day. Police ordered it to be evacuated, and the bank on the second floor told its workers not to come in the next day.

However, the garment factories decided to stay open for business, and the result was senseless and preventable tragedy. This was only the latest in a series of factory fires and collapsed buildings in Bangladesh that have killed over 900 workers since 2005 and injured thousands more.

Who is guilty?

Big retailers in the US and Europe have pointed fingers at local sub-contractors in Bangladesh as the guilty party behind these “tragic accidents”. But there is nothing accidental in these too common acts of terror against workers and companies like Walmart, The Gap, H&M and hundreds of others, who have refused to address basic demands for safety by workers in the Bangladeshi garment industry.

read more.

aljazeera

* Workers observe May Day:

20130502 NEWAGE

 Apparel workers shout slogans at a May Day rally in front of the National Press Club on Wednesday, demanding pay hike and workplace safety. — Sourav Lasker

Tens of thousands of workers, including those from the readymade garments (RMG) sector, on Wednesday observed the historic May Day in the country and organised peaceful demonstrations.

They demanded punishment for Sohel Rana, the owner of the ill-fated Rana Plaza, and of the owners of the garment factories housed in the building. The workers also vowed to fight against repression and social discrimination and realise their rights. They also pledged to press for improving their working conditions and gain better wages and job security.

The nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on Wednesday last week, killing at least 402 people and raising concerns about workplace safety in the country’s RMG sector.SYLHET: The district administration and regional labour office brought out a joint rally in observance of the historic May Day on Wednesday. — Focus Bangla

read more. & read more.  & read more.

logo   

* A case for trade unionism in RMG sector:

The recent tragedy following collapse of an ‘unauthorised’ building at Savar killing more than 400 workers (till date) and maiming a large number of survivors epitomises total lack of a safe working atmosphere/place. Such an atmosphere is the minimum right they ought to have been given.

The workers were totally at the mercy of the owners and their trusted lieutenants (the administrative staff).

This scenario obviously has to change as the relationship between the owners and the workers cannot be on a ‘one-way street’ basis when both parties are involved in the common pursuit of manufacturing and exporting garments. Therefore, the risks and rewards must be equitable to each of the parties. But sadly, it is now heavily weighted in favour of the owners.  read more.

* Mass funeral at Jurain:

A large number of unclaimed bodies have been buried at Jurain graveyard in the capital for the second time in less than six months.

Thousands of people thronged the city corporation’s burial ground when 32 victims of the worst-ever deadly building collapse in the country on April 24 were taken on their last journey on Wednesday.

They were laid to rest some 30 yards from the spot where 53 unidentified victims of the inferno at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia in November last year had been buried.

“It hasn’t been long since the Tazreen fire victims were buried here,” said Tajul Islam, a guard, pointing to the western side of the ground.

The authorities decided to bury the Savar victims on the other side of the fire victims to avoid confusion, he added.  read more. & read more.

daily star bd 

* RMG closes after cracks spotted:

A ready-made garment factory closed down amidst protests by workers who claimed to have spotted cracks in the factory building in Gazipur’s Kaliakoir Upazila on Thursday morning.

The workers said cracks have appeared on the walls of the second floor of ‘Knit Asia’ RMG unit in Safipur area.

The unit’s Manager Mohammad Irfanur Rahman said that the workers spotted the cracks, stopped work and started to protest around 8:00am.

The factory was shut down for the day, Rahman said, promising to ‘repair’ the cracks after consulting engineers and BGMEA office-bearers.

read more.  & read more.

wf-escenic-times  daily star bd

* ‘Using of heavy machinery contributes to building collapse’ :

An enquiry committee of the government has found that heavy machinery and high-capacity generators set up at garment units are largely responsible for Savar building collapse.

“During the enquiry, we have found that use of substandard materials during the construction also contributed to the building collapse,” head of the committee Main Uddin Khandaker told BSS today.  read more. & read more.  & read more.

BSS  Logo

* No permission taken for upper floors:

Sohel Rana, owner of the Savar building that caved in on April 24 killing at least 442 people, has said they illegally raised the upper floors against permission to construct a six-storey structure.

Both Rana and his father Abdul Khaleq, who is the building owner on papers, also admitted their liability saying they had failed to control the quality of both construction and materials, said an interrogator.

“They also named to us three engineers who had been involved in the construction,” said the interrogator asking not to be named.

Police yesterday arrested one of the engineers, Abdur Razzak, 50, who had visited the building after the cracks developed on April 23 and allegedly held out the assurance that those would cause “no harm”.

Besides Razzak, a former engineer of Jahangirnagar University, was hired as the consultant for the ninth floor, which was under construction during the collapse.

read more.

daily star bd

* BGMEA core committee to trace out risky factory buildings:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) has formed a 5-member core committee, with representative from Rajuk, Buet, BGMEA and BKMEA, to trace out the defective and risky factory building under Rajuk area.

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipaksha (RAJUK) chairman Eng Nurul Huda leads the committee. Other members of the committee included Buet Civil Engineering chief Prof Mujibur Rahman, Eng Fazlul Azim MP, BGMEA president Atiqul Islam and BKMEA president Salim Osman.

“The committee has already started its work,” said BGMEA president Atiqul Islam while addressing a press briefing on Thursday adding that another technical committee led by Rajuk member Sheikh Abdul Mannan was also formed to help the core committee.

read more.  & read more.

logo  daily star bd

* PM to receive donations for Savar victims Sunday:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive donations for the ‘Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund’ on Sunday (May 5) for the Savar building collapse victims.

PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad on Thursday said the Prime Minister will receive cheques for the fund at her office (PMO) from 11 am to 12 pm on the day.

Those  interested to donate to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for the ill-fated families of those killed and injured in the Savar building collapse have been requested to hand over cheques at the PMO on the day.  to read.

* OFA donates for Savar victims:

The Old Faujians Association, a society of former cadets of Faujdarhat Cadet College, donated money to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund as part of its commitment to standing by the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse.

The association’s Central Governing Body Chairman Maj Sobhan and Secretary General M Musleh-Uz-Zaman met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her office and handed over the token amount recently.

read more.

* Riddle over the missing:

No reliable data on how many people could not be traced; many still searching for their loved ones

Nine days into the Rana Plaza tragedy in Savar, how many people are still missing is a question officials cannot answer. All they can say is they do not have the exact number.

Rescuers say they are unaware of the number of people working at the nine-storey building when it collapsed on April 24, as the garment owners have not given them the actual figures.

Briefing journalists, ISPR Director Shahinul Islam yesterday said they were yet to ascertain the number of those missing because they were still waiting for a list of workers present on the day from the BGMEA.

Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence, told The Daily Star, “Rescue operation would have been easier had we had a list of the people working on different floors.”

As of 2:30pm yesterday, rescuers have pulled out 45 bodies from the debris since the second phase of the rescue operation began on Sunday night using heavy lifting equipment, according to Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR).

read more.

daily star bd

* Identify Risky Factories: 5-member body formed led by Rajuk chief:

Over Tk 5 crore deposited in BGMEA disaster fund

A five-member core committee, headed by Chairman of the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipaksha (RAJUK) Engr Nurul Huda, has been formed to identify risky mills and factories with the Rajuk area, BGMEA president M Atiqul Islam said here on Thursday.

Other Committee members are Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) president AKM Selim Osman, Head of BUET Civil Engineering Department Prof Mujibur Rahman, former BGMEA first vice president M Fazlul Azim, MP, and BGMEA president M Atiqul Islam.

read more.

* BGMEA provides no workers’ lists: ISPR:

Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) director Shahinul Islam alleged that Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) didn’t provide any list of workers who worked in RMG units at Rana Plaza.

He came with the allegation in a press briefing in the Army control room at Savar on Thursday.

Shahinul Islam said, “Number of missing labours could have been assumed if we had their support with necessary information.”

He urged people not to spread rumour of covering-up the bodies as it hurts the sentiment of the relatives of the victims.   read more. & read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo  Logo

* Slow legal process delays justice:

Culprits go unpunished

In 2005, at least 64 workers were killed in a building collapse at Spectrum Garments at Savar. The owners of the factory — Shahriar Sayeed Hasan and Abul Hashem Fakir — were sent to jail. But eventually they got out on bail in a month.

A writ petition filed against them is still pending for more than seven years. They are now doing business under different names.

On November 24, 2012, a deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions factory on the outskirts of Dhaka killed 112 workers. A day after the accident Ashulia police filed a case saying the fire was set by outsiders.

Experts suspect police had said so to save owner of the factory Delwar Hossain, despite his numerous faults, including blocking the exit passage and having no emergency exit. Hossain was never charged, let alone being arrested. read more.

daily star bd

* Waiting for a mother:

Theirs is a world of innocence, yet to pass into the sadness of experience.

And yet sadness is what awaits them, for tragedy has already cast its pale shadow on their lives.

Their mother Helena Akhter has gone missing, under all that concrete and rubble which claimed so many hundreds of lives through the Rana Plaza collapse last week.

These young siblings, Tasnur Islam and Tahseen Islam, despite holding up that picture of their mother, know not that she is gone for good, that her remains lie buried somewhere in that accursed soil.  read more.

daily star bd

* The Rana Plaza tragedy and the way forward:

The readymade garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh has long been playing the role of a ‘goose that lays the golden eggs.’ The entrepreneurs have built up the giant export-oriented sector over the last 35 years-nearly $19 billion worth of RMG are exported to Europe and the United States.

The apparels are manufactured in over 4,500 factories which employ nearly 4.0 million people, mostly poor women, who come from countless villages in Bangladesh in the hope of employment and a better life. The result is not just high economic growth and rising foreign exchange earnings for the economy, but also an economic and social transformation that has lifted families out of poverty and empowered women leading to profound and long-term positive implications for the nation.

At what cost was this success achieved? Critics point out the ‘dark underbelly’ of the markets, the global business in general and the RMG sector in particular. The sector has given rise to massive corruption that has spread its tentacles to every facet of the society and the economy (Bangladesh was earlier consistently ranked one of the world’s most corrupt nations by the Transparency International), unsafe and exploitative working conditions for millions of women (not all factories are unsafe or have poor working conditions, but many are) comparable to the dark days of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. read more.

* Europe action against Bangladesh would have big impact:

If Bangladesh were to lose its preferential trading status with Europe over conditions in its garment factories, it could face hundreds of millions of dollars in duties and limits on access to its largest trading partner.

EU officials said on Wednesday they hoped the threat of action would be enough to make Bangladesh change its laws to secure a market which formed over a quarter of the south Asian state’s $40.5 billion annual exports in 2011. Any action would likely take more than a year.

“This is about firing a shot across the bows of Bangladesh to get them to engage on the issue,” an EU official told Reuters. “We want to turn up the diplomatic heat on them and get them to sit down and discuss this with us.”

read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more.  & read more. daily star bd  logo  banglanews24 Logo wf-escenic-times

* RMG sector should take EU threat seriously: experts:

Bangladesh readymade garment sector should take the EU threat seriously as scrapping of GSP by the 27-nation bloc could put a severe impact on the sector, economists and exporters told New Age on Thursday.

Centre for Policy Dialogue executive director Mutafizur Rahman said, ‘Obviously it is a warning for Bangladesh. After the Tazreen fire the EU wanted to work with us (in ensuring workplace safety); but this time it moved one step forward and gave the warning.’

‘The warning came as we did not implement all commitments made earlier,’ Mustafiz said. ‘What we are saying that building code, fire safety and workers’ right must be implemented properly and inform the EU.’  read more.

* ILO call to hire more Factory Inspectors & for quick actions:

The chief of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called upon the Bangladesh government to appoint hundreds of Factory Inspectors on an ‘urgent basis’ so as to ensure safety for the readymade garment workers.

Talking to the Daily Independent of Britain, ILO Director-General (DG) Guy Ryder mentioned some urgent steps that must be taken to avoid frequent accidents in Bangladesh’s garment factories, in which hundreds lose their lives every year.

The first step, he stressed, was to appoint Inspectors to oversee the safety measures in the factories.

He said currently only 55 such Inspectors were working in such a calamity-prone sector. “The number is inadequate,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

wf-escenic-times  daily star bd daily star bd   

* US ‘wants to help improve working conditions in Bangladesh’:

The US will continue to engage with its companies to discuss what role they can play in improving the working conditions in Bangladesh as businesses operating in the collapsed Savar building appear to have links to numerous companies in the US and Europe.

“The US actively engages with the highest levels of the government of Bangladesh, with exporters, and with buyers on the issues of workers’ rights and safe working conditions,” acting deputy spokesperson of the US Department of State Patrick Ventrell told reporters in a daily briefing in Washington on Wednesday.

read more.

* Help the humanitarian relief effort in Savar:

Please make a financial contribution to the relief efforts of the killed and injured garment workers of the Rana Plaza industrial homicide via a new dedicated bank account set up by the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council.

IndustriALL’s affiliates and supporters can make solidarity contributions for the humanitarian relief effort for victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy through the bank details below.

The account has been expressly set up by the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, through which all affiliates in the country coordinate their joint work. This follows numerous requests received by IndustriALL from those wanting to provide support to the victims and their families of the Rana Plaza industrial homicide.  read more.

Home

* US shoppers lash out at stores over Bangladesh:

Shoppers are speaking out against unsafe working conditions found in the Bangladesh factory building that collapsed last week.

Dozens of consumers took to social networks after more than 400 workers were killed when a garment factory building in Bangladesh collapsed last Wednesday.

The message that shoppers like Judy Caulfield had for retailers: Shame on you.

“Do the people running this company sleep at night knowing that they are partly responsible for the deaths of so many people?” she asked on the Joe Fresh page.

While some wondered how retailers could tolerate such conditions at factories they buy from, others threatened that they would stop shopping at stores connected to the collapse.

“I have a Joe Fresh gift card and was going to go shopping there. Now I’m not so sure,” Linda Bowser Fallis posted on Joe Fresh’s Facebook (FB)page. “Until companies like yours control the working situation and pay decent wages, it will happen again. And again.”  read more.

Logo

 * US brands used Rana Plaza factories, Canada retailers to update industry guidelines:

The United States on Wednesday acknowledged that American clothing retailers were being supplied by the Bangladesh garment factories in Rana Plaza whose collapse killed more than 450 people.

The US called on the country to ensure workers’ rights and safe working conditions.

‘We understand that businesses operating in this building [Rana Plaza at Savar] appear to have links to numerous companies in the US and Europe, and so we’ll continue to engage with US companies to discuss what role they can play in improving working conditions, including in Bangladesh,’ said state department spokesman Patrick Ventrell.

He declined to identify the companies by name, and stressed that diplomats had an ‘ongoing dialogue’ with US buyers.  read more.

* Global retailers pledge help for Savar victims:

Western retailers have begun pledging compensation for garment workers killed or injured in last week’s building collapse in Bangladesh as rescuers have abandoned hope of finding any more survivors.

The official death toll from the collapse of the Rana Plaza outside Dhaka, which housed five factories that produced clothing for many major Western retail brands, passed 400 Wednesday, according to police, with hundreds more suffering severe injuries.

April 30, 2013: Members of the Beltane Fire Society celebrate the coming of summer during the Beltane Fire Festival.

read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Buyers want a regulator to ensure safety at factories:

Garment importing countries want a strong regulatory body soon to ensure workers’ rights and safe working conditions at Bangladeshi factories, in line with international labour standards.

Foreign diplomats in Dhaka also warned that “this (Savar building collapse) may be the last opportunity for Bangladesh to improve safety of workers.”

“There is now discussion all over Europe whether they will continue to buy Bangladeshi garment products… I think they will continue to buy, but this time there may be serious warning from foreign countries to enhance wage and work conditions in factories,” said a diplomat of a European country.  read more.

daily star bd

* Retailers rethink their role after Savar tragedy:

In the wake of the worst ever building collapse in Savar that killed over 400 hundred garment workers and injured hundreds of others, some Western retailers doing business with Bangladesh moved quickly to address their public concerns about the working conditions in the country, reports the New York Times. 

In an article published in the digital edition of the newspaper on Wednesday, Steven Greenhouse wrote: “Benetton repeatedly revised its accounts of goods produced at one of the factories, while officials at Gap, the Children’s Place and other retailers huddled to figure out how to improve conditions, and some debated whether to remain in Bangladesh at all.”

At least one big American company, however, had already decided to leave the country — pushed by the last devastating disaster, a fire just six months ago that killed 112 people.

The Walt Disney Company, considered the world’s largest licenser with sales of nearly $40 billion, in March ordered an end to the production of branded merchandise in Bangladesh. A Disney official told The New York Times on Wednesday that the company had sent a letter to thousands of licensees and vendors on March 4 setting out new rules for overseas production.  read more.

logo

* Dhaka building collapse highlights impact of supply chain on brand:

The tragic building collapse at a clothing manufacturer in Dhaka has thrown the spotlight back on to the issue of the supply chain and the actual cost of fast fashion. Primark, Bonmarché, Matalan, Benetton, Mango and Canadian brand Joe Fresh have all been linked to the factory but what of their reputations?

The tragic building collapse at a clothing manufacturer in Dhaka has thrown the spotlight back on to the issue of the supply chain and the actual cost of fast fashion. Primark, Bonmarché, Matalan, Benetton, Mango and Canadian brand Joe Fresh have all been linked to the factory but what of their reputations?

Some of the retailers involved have moved to pledge support families of those affected by the disastrous event that killed around 400 people and injured many more. read more.

Marketing Week

* Wal-Mart to JC Penney join talks on BD garments safety:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and J.C. Penney Co. were among retailers sending representatives to a meeting near Frankfurt to discuss allying to improve worker safety in Bangladesh following the nation’s biggest industrial disaster.

 

The talks, organized by Germany’s international cooperation service known as GIZ, were aimed at winning support from the companies, labor unions and non-governmental groups for Bangladesh’s national action plan and for supplier assessments of fire and building risk, said Peter McAllister, a director of the Ethical Trading Initiative, who attended. A document covering the talks will be published May 15, he said.  read more.

Logo

* Primark admits responsibility:

It’s now been a week since the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh killing more than 400 people. Once again retailers, factory owners and the Bangladeshi government failed to ensure proper health and safety for garment workers making clothes bound for British shops.

Together with our partner organisation in Bangladesh – the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) – we launched a petition targeting the brands to secure justice for the victims and to press retailers to take responsibility for the workers in their supply chains. We also organised a demonstration outside Primark’s flagship store last weekend to ramp up the pressure on them to act. In Bangladesh hundreds of thousands of garment workers took to the streets protesting against the unnecessary deaths.

The pressure paid off: Primark issued a statement promising to pay compensation to the victims that worked in its supplier factory. Securing acknowledgement of responsibility towards the garment workers from Primark for their role in this disaster is a huge step forwards. Your support and the support of over 60,000 people who signed the petition has been vital to making this happen.

But this alone isn’t enough. Now we need to make sure this is full compensation including loss of earnings for all the workers. We need Matalan and Mango to provide full compensation to workers and their families as well. And above all, we must ensure all of the brands take action to ensure this kind of tragedy never happens again. The first step of this commitment is to sign The Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement –which none of the retailers have done.

To make this happen we need to get as many people as possible to sign the petition. If you’re yet to take action please sign the petition now. Please also email the action to your friends – you can use the text at the bottom of this email.

You can read more and sign here.

War on Want

* 15 May deadline set for Bangladesh safety plan:

IndustriALL and international clothing brands commit to a 15 May deadline to finalize an agreement on fire and building safety that will make the garment industry of Bangladesh sustainable. Funds will be made available for inspections, training and upgrades of dangerous facilities.

IndustriALL Global Union and its NGO partners Clean Clothes Campaign and Workers’ Rights Consortium met on 29 April in Eschborn, Germany with a group of international brands and retailers sourcing from Bangladesh and with the ILO to outline an agreement on fire and building safety in Bangladesh. The parties agreed on a 15 May deadline to finalize the text and commitments.

The meeting was hosted by the German Agency for Development Cooperation, GIZ.

The agreement will support the national action plan that was confirmed on 24 March by the Bangladeshi government, employers and unions.

Talks in Eschborn follow the collapse of a building near Dhaka which contained several garment factories. So far more than 400 bodies of workers have been dug out of the rubble, but the final number of casualties is likely to be much higher.

The agreement, building upon an earlier memorandum of understanding, will include principals on governance, inspections, remediation, training, a complaints process, transparency and reporting, supplier incentives, financial support and dispute resolution.  read more.

Home

* Rana Plaza: Demands to brands:

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) is giving a cautious welcome to the announcements of four brands implicated in the Rana Plaza tragedy that they will pay compensation to victims of the building collapse last Wednesday. They also urge more of the 50 plus brands linked to the disaster to step forward.

The details of the brands’ proposals have not been published.

To be worthwhile, the CCC says any compensation package must cover loss of earnings for those left unemployed, immediate medical care for those injured and long term compensation for injured workers and the families of those killed in the tragedy.

The final compensation figures, along with agreed contributions from all stakeholders, need to be negotiated with the Bangladeshi trade unions and IndustriALL, the global trade union federation representing garment workers. It must follow standards for compensation already established following previous factory collapses and fires in Bangladesh.

This includes the development of a clear and transparent mechanism for delivering short and long term compensation to the families of those killed and those injured at Rana Plaza. It is vital that brands and retailers immediately pay into a compensation fund that can be quickly distributed.

Local relief organisations are expressing grave concern about the mismanagement of databases containing information about victims. There is a need for immediate work to start on developing a coordinated, well maintained and comprehensive database of victims, without which the delivery or compensation to those who need and deserve it will prove impossible. Brands need to have representatives on the ground, working together to support such a process.

Ineke Zeldenrust of the CCC says, _”How can compensation be distributed quickly and to the right people without accurate records?

A victims’ database is as essential as negotiating with Bangaldeshi trade union federations and IndustriALL Global Union about the level of compensation”.

We are calling on all brands sourcing from the devastated Rana Plaza factories which collapsed on Wednesday 24th April 2013, killing more than 400 workers, to provide emergency relief, medical costs and compensation to all those affected by the fire.

They are also being asked, along with other key brands and stakeholders, to ensure an immediate and transparent investigation into the events surrounding the collapse and to take urgent steps to prevent future tragedies in the industry.

Brands sourcing from the Rana Plaza factories should send a delegation to Bangladesh immediately to meet victims and their families, trade unions and labour rights organisations and work with other buyers to ensure these demands are met.

Getting justice for the victims of Rana Plaza must be combined with immediate steps to prevent future tragedies. All brands involved must sign up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement and begin work to make the Bangladesh garment industry safe.  read more.

Site

* The legally-binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement:

Now is not the time for global brands to walk away from Bangladesh. Now is the time for them to join with worker advocates globally and locally, to ensure transparency and make a real commitment to ensure change for garment workers and save lives.

This International Workers’ Day, we are with heavy hearts as we continue to watch the official death toll rise to over 400 dead, with at least another 400 unaccounted for, at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh where construction crews have begun to bury the unclaimed bodies of the workers who were crushed to death when five garment factories collapsed last Wednesday.

As much as ILRF has followed these horrific accidents for years, written about their cause and warned against continued risks in “Deadly Secrets” [ http://laborrights.org/ds ], we too were shocked to our core last Wednesday. Shock has since turned to anger and more determination – for us and for many of the activists we have been hearing from and at the protests we’ve convened during the past month.

read more.  & read more.

& Here you can find the:

JOINT MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON FIRE AND BUILDING SAFETY

ilrf  Site

* Death toll rises to 486:

Fire service and Red Crescent workers led-by army recovered those bodies from the rubble between 6:00am and 9:00am.

Amongst them, three were identified as Promila, Mamun and Jahangir.

As per Identity card found with the body of Pramila, she worked at sewing section in a garment factory housed in Rana Plaza.

Most of the male bodies had mobile phone but with female bodies had no mobile phone, rescuers said.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* BD is reforming its garment industry:

Bangladesh now is a place for good conditions for the investment,” Sheikh Hasina told CNN`s Christiane Amanpour eight days after a nine-story building collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka, killing at least 437 people, most of them garment workers.

She said 2,437 survivors were pulled from the rubble, where recovery work was continuing.

“Yes, there are some problems,” she said, but added that a committee has been formed to ensure the safety of buildings and workers.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Citing work condition, Walt Disney pulls out from Pakistan, Bangladesh:

The Walt Disney Company has announced its decision to pull out of Bangladesh, Pakistan and three other countries by April next year, citing safety standards of workers in the supply chain.

The decision was made before last week’s devastating collapse of a factory building in Bangladesh that left more than 400 people dead and over 2,500 injured.

Disney said that its decision was prompted by the November fire at the Tazreen Fashions Factory in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka that killed 112 people, and another fire in Pakistan that killed 262 garment workers last September.  read more.

The Economic Times

20130503

_____update 16.30h.(LT)____

* Savar building collapse death toll passes 500:

The death toll from the last week’s horrific building collapse in Savar passed 500 on Friday.

Rescue workers retrieved 23 more bodies from the rubble of the eight-story ruinous building Rana Plaza on Friday morning as the 2nd phase of the rescue operation continued for the 4th consecutive day, raising the death toll in the ruinous building collapse to 501.

Earlier on Tuesday, General Officer Commanding of the 9th Infantry Division Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardi, who is in charge of coordinating the rescue operation, said so far 2,437 people were pulled out alive from the debris of the commercial building.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

logo  BSS  daily star bd wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo

* Bangladesh building death toll tops 500:

Police arrest engineer who warned of Savar factory complex’s dangers and urged evacuation the day before its collapse.

 

More than 500 bodies have been recovered from the Bangladesh garment-factory building that collapsed last week, authorities said after arresting an engineer who said the building was unsafe but is accused of helping the owner add three illegal floors to the structure.

The arrest on Friday of Rana Plaza consultant Adbur Razzak brought to nine the number of people held over the April 24 disaster, which has put the spotlight on the many Western clothing retailers who use Bangladesh as a source of cheap goods.

Bangladesh’s government has come under fire over its handling of the disaster, as relatives of those trapped in the rubble of the building in Savar, about 30km north-west of Dhaka, searched for loved ones without a central list to track the rescued or dead. read & see more (video).

aljazeera

* Traumatized Savar survivors need psychological intervention: experts:

Mental health experts stressed for extending psychological support along with providing better treatment for the survivors of Savar building collapse for returning to normal life.

“It is very important to ventilate their (survivors of Savar catastrophe) bitter experiences to overcome their trauma which is

called acute stress reaction and return to normal life,” said Prof Dr M S I Mullick Chairman, Department of Psychiatry of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.

The traumatic condition will continue for 28 to 30 days. If none help them to overcome the situation, it would permanently lock in their brain and they will re-experience the original trauma(s) through flashbacks, hallucinations or nightmares, said the mental health expert.

read more.

BSS

* ILO expects a way forward, roadmap by Saturday: Gilbert Houngbo:

Visiting Deputy Director General (DDG) for Field Operations and Partnerships, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo said on Friday that they are expecting a way forward after Savar tragedy and a roadmap will be there by Saturday to address safety issues.

“I’m looking forward in a very positive way. We’ve to consider this tragedy as a new beginning. You have to use it as a (positive) catalyst,” he told a meeting at the conference hall of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

He said they would continue to discuss with the authorities concerned and workers’ bodies and owners today. “I’m very confident by tomorrow (Saturday) we’ll have a final way forward in terms of roadmap with all the commitments laid down.”

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

& read more.

logo  daily star bd BSS newstodayBD 

* Bangladesh is reforming its garment industry: PM:

Mentioning that condition now in Bangladesh is good for investment, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government is moving rapidly to fix the existing problems of the readymade garment (RMG) sector.

“There are some problems in the RMG sector. But, we have been trying our best to improve the situation,” she said this in an interview with CNN on Thursday eight days after a nine-storey building collapsed at Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka.

read more. & read more.

BSS  banglanews24 Logo

_____update 00.15h.(LT)____  ( 20130504)

 

* Disaster not ‘really serious’: Muhith:

Bangladesh’s finance minister downplayed the impact of last week’s factory-building collapse on his country’s garment industry, saying he didn’t think it was “really serious” Friday, hours after the 500th body was pulled from the debris.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith spoke as the government cracked down on those it blamed for the disaster in the Dhaka suburb of Savar. It suspended Savar’s mayor and arrested an engineer who had called for the building’s evacuation last week, but was also accused of helping the owner add three illegal floors to the eight-story structure. The building owner was arrested earlier.

The government appears to be attempting to fend off accusations that it is in part to blame for the tragedy because of weak oversight of the building’s construction.

During a visit to the Indian capital New Delhi, Muhith said the disaster would not harm Bangladesh’s garment industry, which is by far the country’s biggest source of export income.

“The present difficulties… well, I don’t think it is really serious… it’s an accident,” he said. “And the steps that we have taken in order to make sure that it doesn’t happen, they are quite elaborate and I believe that it will be appreciated by all.”

read more.  & read more.

daily star bd daily star bd

SpecialTop

* Loblaw sticks with BD, but plans changes:

Canadian retailer Loblaw Cos., whose brightly colored Joe Fresh clothing was pulled last week from the rubble of a collapsed garment factory in Bangladesh, said it plans to continue to source clothing from that developing country.

But, after an outcry over working conditions in Bangladesh, the supermarket chain and its iconic clothing brand Thursday outlined a plan to change the way it does business there.

The company will require that products bearing the Joe Fresh label be made in factories that adhere to all local construction and building codes, and it will put Loblaw employees on the ground to make sure those operations “reflect Canadian values and Canadian standards,” Loblaw Executive Chairman Galen Weston said Thursday in a joint news conference with Joe Fresh Creative Director Joe Mimran.

read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo theSTAR

* Disney’s BD exit puts pressure on other retailers:

Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s decision to pull out of Bangladesh is fueling debate over whether other manufacturers should leave the country or stay put to improve workplace conditions in the South Asian nation.

Disney, the world’s largest entertainment company, removed Bangladesh in March from a list of countries where it authorizes partners to produce clothing and merchandise, according to a letter to licensees released yesterday. Belarus, Ecuador, Pakistan and Venezuela were also taken off the list, which cut the number of acceptable nations to 172 from 215, Disney said.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Bangladesh Fears an Exodus of Apparel Firms:

A day after the Walt Disney Company disclosed that it was ending apparel production in Bangladesh, that country’s garment manufacturers expressed alarm that other Western corporations might follow Disney’s lead.

They feared that could bring about a potential mass exodus that would devastate Bangladesh’s economy and threaten the livelihoods of millions of people.

Mohammad Fazlul Azim, a member of the Bangladesh Parliament and an influential garment factory owner, implored brands not to leave Bangladesh, noting that many factories did comply with safety standards.

“The whole nation should not be made to suffer,” he said. “This industry is very important to us. Fourteen million families depend on this. It is a huge number of people who are dependent on this industry.”  read more.

NYT

* How textile kings weave a hold on Bangladesh:

Bangladesh’s garment boom has made Mohammad Fazlul Azim a wealthy man. Over three decades his empire has grown from a single factory to a string of plants that employ 26,000 workers and clock up an annual turnover of about $200 million.

Azim, who is also a member of parliament, has benefited from government policies to grow the industry into a global powerhouse. His elegant home here in Dhaka is a haven of luxury with an outdoor swimming pool, walled off from the chaos of the capital’s streets.

But he has a complaint: His costs have almost doubled over the past several years. It’s now time for the big Western brands he supplies to pay more for their clothes, and stop squeezing his margins, he declares.

The buyers have not given anything. They just say ‘increase your productivity’,” Azim said in an interview. read more. & read more.

reuters logo

* Were Rana Plaza Workers Sewing Clothes for Benetton when Building Collapsed? :

Documents found in rubble contradict Benetton statement it had cut links with garment factories

Benetton documents (BGIWF/BCWS)Finishing audit report – 23 March 2013 (BGIWF/BCWS)

Documents found in the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh show that Italian fashion giant Benetton was still producing clothes in Dhaka garment factories right up to the disaster.

The company had earlier denied any involvement with manufacturers in the building but later recognised a “one-time order” that was completed and shipped several weeks before the tragedy. It said the manufacturer “had been permanently removed from the list of potential direct or indirect suppliers [as it] no longer met the stringent standards that made it eligible to even potentially work for us”.

Benetton “strongly reiterated” that none of the Rana Plaza manufacturers supplied any of the group’s brands. “We have since established that one of our suppliers had occasionally subcontracted orders to one of these Dhaka-based manufacturers,” Benetton said.  read more.

International Business Times UK

* German co. KIK surprised as sample found in Rana Plaza:

A German clothing company says it is “surprised, shocked and appalled” after samples of its textiles were reportedly found in the remains of a Bangladesh garment factory that collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka last week.

German news portal Spiegel Online reported Thursday that rescuers found t-shirts and tops for KiK’s house brand ‘okay’ amid the rubble.

Authorities say more than 500 people died in the disaster.

Discount brand KiK says it hasn’t had any direct business relations with suppliers based in the Rana Plaza building since 2008. read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Never ending mourning at Rana Plaza:

It seems the mourning for the missing of Rana Plaza will never end on the premises of Adhar Chandra High School in Savar. Dead bodies recovered from the ruins are still arriving in numbers there on the 10th day of the rescue, keeping up hopes of the relatives to get the earthly remains of the loved ones.

“We’ve finished searching out all the hospitals where the injured people were taken after the rescue. Now, there is no much hope that he would come back alive among us… we could only get his dead body,” said Panna Begum, wife of missing worker Mohammad Rafique, on Friday morning.

Rafique used to work on the third floor of Rana Plaza, he took the job on the 22nd of the last month, just two days before the collapse. Rafique’s two sons –- Jubaer, 7, and Siam, 4 — and his mother have also been staying at the school-ground along with Panna for the most part of the days.

Asked about his father, the elder son said, “Father left home in the morning…we’ve come to find him out.”  read more.

20130504

* Death toll soars to 518:

Death toll from nine-storey Rana Plaza collapse reaches to 518 on Friday evening as rescuers pulled 70 more bodies out of the concrete rubble 10th day into the collapse.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) control room, the number of people rescued alive remained unchanged at 2,437.

The frantic search for the missing people is going on in full swing as the rescuers have been using heavy equipment to remove the concrete slabs from the ruins.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo newstodayBD logo 

* Tk 100 cr fund for Savar victims:

Commercial banks will constitute a Tk 1 billion fund to extend financial support to the families of the Savar building collapse victims, reports bdnews24.com.

President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed made the announcement at a press briefing at the Federation building in the capital on Friday.

At least 516 people have been confirmed dead after the nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on Apr 24. More than 2,000 other people were rescued from the debris.

Akram said: “Discussions with Bangladesh Bank have already been held. This Tk 1 billion will be deposited at the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund under the supervision of Bangladesh Bank. The families of those killed and injured will be given assistance from there.”

read more. & read more. & read more.

newstodayBD  wf-escenic-times 

* BD reforming its garment industry, PM tells CNN:

Bangladesh’s prime minister acknowledged Thursday that her nation’s garment industry is beset with problems, but said her government is moving rapidly to fix them, reports Tom Watkins of CNN.

“Bangladesh now is a place for good conditions for the investment,” Sheikh Hasina told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour eight days after a nine-story building collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka, killing at least 437 people (until the time of the interview), most of them garment workers. She said 2,437 survivors were pulled from the rubble, where recovery work was continuing.

(…)

But at least one company has pulled out of Bangladesh, citing a spate of fatal factory accidents, the report added.

The Walt Disney Company sent a letter in March to vendors and licensees to transition production out of the “highest-risk countries,” such as Bangladesh, in order to bolster safety standards in its supply chain.

Disney will halt production in four other countries: Ecuador, Venezuela, Belarus and Pakistan, by April 2014.

The decision was made before last month’s building collapse. It was prompted by the November fire at the Tazreen Fashions Factory in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka that killed 112 people, and another fire in Pakistan that killed 262 garment workers last September.

Asked about reports that only 18 inspectors are responsible for overseeing safety conditions in more than 100,000 garment factories in and around the capital city, Hasina said, “We don’t depend on only … those inspectors.”  read more.

* Top buyers least focused on working conditions:

Top buyers’ ignorance about garment factories’ compliance standards is one of the main reasons behind the tragic incidents in the sector, sources said.

The accidents, especially the Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashions tragedies, claimed lives of hundreds of poor workers.

The deaths could be averted, if the top buyers like the Danish H&M, the USA’s Walmart and UK’s Tesco also would have focused their attention on the working conditions, readymade garment (RMG) unit owners said.

The buyers focus only on the profit margins, lead time and the quality of products, not on the working conditions, they added. read more.

* Canadian buyer pledges help:

Vows to continue buying apparels from Bangladesh

Loblaw, a major Canadian retailer, has vowed to keep sourcing apparel products from Bangladesh and help the country raise the standards for building codes.

The assurance came in the wake of the recent garment factory disaster in Savar that killed more than 500 people.

Galen G Weston, chairman of Loblaw, said his company wanted more rigorous factory inspections that would, for the first time, examine structural integrity of buildings that house these garment factories.

He also said Loblaw, which owns discount clothing chain, was trying to figure out what more it could do to improve workplace conditions, according to the CBC News website.

Weston made the comments while addressing the press along with Joe Mimran, the fashion retailer who founded Loblaw’s Joe Fresh line, on Thursday to discuss the Rana Plaza tragedy.  read more.

daily star bd

* The Rana Plaza tragedy:

The catastrophe that took place at Savar due to carelessness of the owner of the plaza and of the garment unit owners.

The death toll is the highest ever. When other organizations decided to close down their institutions, the garments were opened in order to minimize the loss of persistent hartals. The fateful employees were forced to enter the building. Local authority said that there was nothing to worry. How did the local government body assure that without inspection?  read more.

* Rana Plaza tragedy sends shockwaves across the world:

A great man-made tragedy has befallen Bangladesh following deaths of so many readymade garment (RMG) workers after the collapse of an eight-storey Rana Plaza at Savar recently.

More than 400 garment workers were killed. As many as five garment factories were located in the plaza. This man-made disaster took place at a time when apparel industry in Bangladesh is having serious scrutiny of the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). The safety and working conditions of workers in garment industry has raised questions in western countries, particularly in the United States. A 15-member Bangladesh delegation, led by Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmad, briefed the USTR at a hearing in Washington on March 28 on the measures undertaken by the government for improvement of the conditions in garment industry in Bangladesh.  read more.

* Hard lessons from Savar tragedy:

The catastrophic eight-storey building collapse in Bangladesh on April 24 has put on trial the country’s readiness to face a disaster, natural or man-made.

The great tragedy that had befallen on over 4,000/5,000 poor garment workers, mostly women, has sent shockwaves through the length and breadth of the world. The world press, particularly the media in Europe and the United States has focused prominently the tragedy which almost all agree to call man-made. It was not an accident: it was a work of a few individuals who gave more importance to money-making than the safety of the workers.

The poor workers, who had initially refused to enter the massive building earlier declared by appropriate authorities as dangerous, were simply herded into the factories that were housed there.

The Savar tragedy, as it is called, gave an eloquent testimony to a great fund of sympathy and fellow-feelings the Bangladeshis, particularly, the poor segment, nurture in their hearts.  read more.

* Savar death toll may shoot up:

522 bodies recovered so far; rescuers see many bodies as they dig through debris

The death toll of the Rana Plaza disaster soared to 522 yesterday as heavy equipment continue to remove large chunks of rubble only to discover bodies underneath.

Between 12:10am and 10:10pm yesterday, 77 bodies were found, the highest since the second phase of the rescue operation began on April 28 night with heavy equipment and sniffer dogs.

More bodies are thought to be buried under the debris of the nine-storey Rana Plaza and rescuers fear the toll could rise sharply as they go deeper into the rubble pile.

The rescuers were seen removing the roof of the top floor yesterday using cranes. The concrete roof was being removed in sections.

Rana Plaza, which housed several garment factories, came crashing down on April 24 after owners forced several thousand workers to work there despite cracks had developed on some pillars and floors the day before. It is still unclear how many workers were there on that fateful day.  read more.

daily star bd

_____update 01.00h.(LT)____ (20130505)

 

* Death toll from Rana Plaza collapse reaches 544:

The death toll from the disastrous Rana Plaza collapse reached 544 on Saturday morning with the recovery of 30 more bodies from the ruins of the collapsed eight-storey building.

Rescuers retrieved 30 bodies from the wreckage of the collapsed building from 12 am to 11:30 am today (Saturday), said Officer-in-Charge Asaduzzaman of Savar Model Police Station.

Of the recovered bodies, 444 bodies were handed over to their families while the rest have been kept on the Savar Adhar Chandra Model High School ground and at the morgues of Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Dhaka Mitford Hospital.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  logo wf-escenic-times  banglanews24 Logo

* 3 RMG factories shut as cracks found:

The authorities of three garments including Vertex Ltd shut their factories as cracks found in buildings at Tetuljhora in Savar of the city.

Already three factories were closed and another will be closed anytime for safety where workers were protesting on Saturday morning.

Workers got panicked seeing cracks at finishing section of the first floor in Vertex factory on Friday.

Meanwhile the authority convinced workers to join work but next day the workers protested again seeing developed cracks on Saturday morning.

Later, agitated workers protested in front of the factory for safe working environment.

read more.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo  newstodayBD

* EU warns of trade action:

Wants measures to ensure safety standards of factories in Bangladesh; experts see bad signal for export

The European Union, the largest destination for the country’s garment items, plans to take trade actions against Bangladesh, which the industry insiders think will have a negative impact on apparel exports.

The bloc of 27 countries is considering taking action to oblige Bangladesh to improve safety standards in factories as a way of preventing frequent accidents, following the death of more than 400 garment workers in the Rana Plaza collapse in Savar.

The EU has voiced concern over labour conditions, including health and safety provisions, established for workers in factories across the country.

“The EU is presently considering appropriate action, including through the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) — through which Bangladesh currently receives duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market under the ‘Everything But Arms’ scheme — in order to incentivise responsible management of supply chains involving developing countries,” it said in a joint statement on April 30.

read more. & read more.

daily star bd  wf-escenic-times

* Dhaka urges no harsh EU measures:

Bangladesh has urged the European Union (EU), the largest export destination of the nation, not to take any harsh trade action, as the government is taking necessary measures to ensure occupational safety in the factories.

The commerce ministry sent a letter to the Bangladesh ambassador in the EU on May 2 explaining the latest situation of the RanaPlaza tragedy and the government’s action plans for ensuring the safety standards in the garment factories.

“In the letter, we explained the tragedy. We have also said the government is very sincere for the safety of the garment workers, as it has already formed different committees after the incident,” Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told The Daily Star by phone on Saturday.

As the ministry has replied to the recent statement of the EU, Bangladeshi officials in the Europe will lobby through their diplomatic channels so that the EU does not take any actions against Bangladesh, Ahmed said.

read more. & read more.

daily star bd 

* Tragedy won’t affect RMG export: Muhith:

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith believes the Savar building collapse killing over 500 people will not hurt readymade garment export.

“This is tragic. Many of our workers have been killed and injured. All of us are grief-struck,” he said on Friday at a programme in the Indian capital New Delhi.

Nine-storey Rana Plaza, housing five readymade garment factories, caved in on Apr 24 with over 3,000 workers, mostly women, at work there. So far, 523 have been confirmed dead. Thousands others have been injured in the worst ever industrial disaster in the world. These factories manufactured clothing for renowned European and American brands.  read more.

wf-escenic-times

* Loblaw to stay, help in Bangladesh:

Loblaw says it will continue manufacturing Joe Fresh clothing in Bangladesh and also take new steps to ensure the structural integrity of the factories in the wake of the collapse of a building that housed one of its suppliers.

“We must do a better job to enforce the safety of workers producing our products in Bangladesh and around the world,” Joe Mimran, who founded the clothing brand Joe Fresh, said Thursday.

More than 400 people died when the illegally constructed, eight-storey building collapsed last week. One of the factories in the building produced items for Loblaw`s Joe Fresh clothing line, but numerous other clothing makers were also in the complex.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Disney Ditches Bangladesh as Factory Death Toll Passes 500:

In the wake of the April 24 factory collapse that killed more than 500 workers near Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Walt Disney Company has decided to stop production of its products in the impoverished South Asian country.

The company’s decision was condemned by some anti-sweatshop activists.

Liana Foxvog and Judy Gearhart of the International Labor Rights Forum wrote in The New York Times Thursday that the decision “validates and justifies many factory owners’ practice of hiding their real problems from the global brands.”

Disney’s pull-out “is shameful and should not be emulated,” wrote the activists, who recommended “contractual commitment[s]” to the safety of workers.

read more.  & read more. read more.

USnews  Logo

* Pressure on Bangladesh, retailers to fix factories:

A clothes tag lies in the rubble of a garments factory that collapsed in Savar near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, May 3. Photo: AP

In the aftermath of a building collapse that killed more than 530 people, Bangladesh’s garment manufacturers may face a choice of reform or perish.

Home to five factories that supplied clothing to retailers in Europe and the United States, the shoddily constructed building’s collapse has put a focus on the high human price paid when Bangladeshi government ineptitude, Western consumer apathy and global retailing’s drive for the lowest cost of production intersect.

read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  logo  banglanews24 Logo

* Brands revisit concerns over BD after building collapse:

Apparel companies are weighing their options in the wake of a factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 500 people, choosing between improving facilities there or pulling out of the country altogether.

But even before last week’s incident, brands were already showing cold feet over maintaining production in Bangladesh.

Walt Disney Company (DIS), the world’s largest licenser, revealed on its website this week that in March it put a stop to production of branded merchandise in Bangladesh, following a factory fire last year that killed 112 people.

Boxes of licensed sweatshirts set to be shipped to Wal-Mart’s (WMT) stores were found at the factory that had a fire. Walmart said the products were moved there for storage without its knowledge.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Factory Collapse Could Force Rethink for Garment Industry:

The tragedy of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh has prompted a wave of fury across the world.

There is anger that profits were put above the lives of the thousands of people who worked long hours for minimal pay, and anger at international buyers that give little thought to health and safety.

Employees were forced to continue working in the building near the capital, Dhaka, despite it having been condemned as unsafe just the day before it collapsed. By Friday, the death toll had exceeded 500.

But John Hilary, executive director of the campaigning group War on Want, said the terrible scenes at Rana Plaza had become a “defining moment” in raising people`s consciousness.

“The link between poverty and cheap clothes made in Bangladesh has been well established,” says Hilary. “What is important about this tragedy is that is has thrown into stark relief the fact that this is an industry where the workers are not just exploited and forced to work in an environment of harassment, violence and abuse, but where basic guarantees of safety have been thrown to the wind, where corners have been cut to the extent that a building can collapse on top of thousands of workers.”  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Trauma robs survivor of sleep:

Luck seemed to have favoured Sherpur’s Nazmul Rashid Faruk more than it did his colleagues at Rana Plaza.

Rescuers had lifted them out of the ruins two days after the ill-built high-rise collapsed in a heap on its over 3000 workers in Savar .

The moment of that fateful collapse, fragmented memory of 60 hours spent in the darkness of death, voices of his wounded colleagues along with the putrid smell of death has left him without sleep.

The trauma haunts Nazmul every time he closes his eyes and the hundreds crying for their lives flock his vision. The stench from the rotting dead strikes away his sleep but he finds himself safe in his bed.

Nazmul who worked as a quality controller for Phantom Apparels was talking to bdnews24.com at his residence in Uttara.

“I can’t sleep at night. I keep hearing them screaming for water … and to be rescued. A girl writhing in pain under a fallen beam. I feel they are calling me”

read more.

banglanews24 Logo

Nazmul who worked as a quality controller for Phantom Apparels was talking to bdnews24.com at his residence in Uttara.

“I can’t sleep at night. I keep hearing them screaming for water … and to be rescued. A girl writhing in pain under a fallen beam. I feel they are calling me”

read more.

banglanews24 Logo

+++++++

* Death toll from Rana Plaza collapse reaches 553:

Armymen and firefighters engaged on the 11th consecutive day to pull out more bodies from under the debris of collapsed Rana Plaza on Saturday. NN photo

The death toll from the disastrous Rana Plaza collapse reached 553 on Saturday night with the recovery of 20 more bodies from the debris of the collapsed eight-storey building.

Rescuers retrieved 20 bodies from the wreckage of the collapsed building from 12 am to 9pm today (Saturday), said officer-in-charge of Dhaka district Detective Branch of police Wahiduzzaman.

read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

& read more.

  daily star bd  logo banglanews24 Logo  Logo

* Robbery after tragedy:

Robbers early yesterday looted the burial money for a Savar tragedy victim when the deceased’s family was bringing the body home in Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur district.

The body of Khadiza Begum, 30, wife of Yunus Ali of Taznagar village in the upazila, was recovered Friday afternoon, 10 days into the devastating collapse of Rana Plaza that killed more than 550 people.

She was a mother of two.

According to Khadiza’s husband Yunus, the authorities concerned handed the body over to them in the afternoon. At the same time they gave him Tk 30,000 for Khadiza’s burial, he added.

The very evening, the family hired a microbus and started for home.  read more.

daily star bd

* With agony, they wait for bodies:

The agonising wait at Adhar Chandra High School in Savar seems endless to Anwar Zahid. He knows his wife is dead by now but he can at least have the body to bury by himself.

“No matter how decomposed her body is, I shall recognise Nasrin,” said Zahid, a diploma engineer and an operator of an effluent treatment plant at a nearby industry.

Every time a body was recovered from the mangled wreckage of nine-storey Rana Plaza a kilometer away and brought there yesterday, Zahid rushed to check if it was of Nasrin Anwar, 22, mother of his child.

For the last 12 days since the deadliest man-made industrial disaster in the country, hundreds of men, women and children have been waiting at the school ground to see their dear ones dead or alive.

At night, some of them sleep in the open, some in small tents while some others take shelter at the residences of their relatives who fell victim to the building collapse. Local volunteers are providing them with three meals and potable water every day.

“I am looking for the body of my daughter,” someone would say carrying a picture of a young woman. “I am looking for my son’s,” someone else would rush in to add.

read more.

daily star bd

* …Unending wait for dear ones:

Families of the people who could not be traced 11 days into the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24 were still waiting at the site and nearby Adhar Chandra School ground at Savar with the hope they would get the bodies of their dear ones as rescue operation continued.

 

Hundreds of relatives are crowding the site though most of the bodies being recovered from the debris have decomposed beyond recognition and are being taken to hospital mortuaries.

With the number of unclaimed bodies growing, rescuers said it would be a miracle if anyone was found still alive inside the rubble 11 days after the disaster.

‘We are pulling out the decomposed bodies carefully so that they could at least be recognised,’ army major Khijir Khan, who was engaged in rescue operation, told New Age on Saturday.    read more.

* Rescue goes at slow pace:

Eleven days into the country’s deadliest building collapse in Savar, the official rescuers are clueless about how many bodies are still locked in the mammoth concrete wreckage and how long it may take to remove the piles.

Just one-fifth of the rubble has been removed over the past one week, officials say. Some ground workers estimate it would take at least two more weeks to clear the debris of nine-storey Rana Plaza.

There is an estimated 9,000 tonnes of wreckage, including machines, 2,000 tonnes of which have so far been removed, said Major Moazzem of army engineers’ corps.

Bodies are still found in the building’s rear staircase, he said. It seems there are still quite a number of bodies in the rubble.  read more.

daily star bd

* Rights groups blast Muhith:

Rights groups blasted finance minister AMA Muhith’s for describing the recent factory disaster at Savar which killed hundreds of apparel workers as ‘an accident.’

None but a mental patient can make such remarks, they said.

Everyone at home and abroad is convinced that the apparel workers became victims of murder, they said.

Collapse of Rana Plaza which housed five apparel factories killed more than 500 workers, left over 2,000 crippled or maimed and several others traceless.

The civil rights and workers’ rights groups said that they could not understand in what mental state the finance minister could make such cruel remarks following the footsteps of his cabinet colleague Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir who said that the multi-storied Rana Plaza was pulled down by the opposition activists.  read more.

* BGMEA to set up a database of garment workers:

Garment industry leaders sit with editors of newspapers

The garment sector’s apex trade body plans to prepare a central database of garment workers for ease of verification during crises.

“People always question the casualty numbers quoted during any tragedy in the garment sector, as the trade body does not have any central database of the 3.6 million workers,” Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

“We will sign an agreement with the ILO [International Labour Organisation] soon to prepare a central database of workers,” he added. read more.

daily star bd

* Editors advise BGMEA to win back credibility:

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association needs to win back its credibility at home and abroad in the interest of the country’s apparel sector, editors of national daily newspapers said in a programme on Saturday.

 

The editors at an exchange of views at the BGMEA office in the wake of Rana Plaza collapse also said that the association had to make some pragmatic measures for the welfare of the workers which could help them to earn back the confidence of workers and buyers.

(…)

Zaglul Ahmed said that the Rana Plaza disaster left a negative impact on the Bangladesh’s apparel sector on the international market.

Asking the BGMEA about initiatives it took in a number of accidents in the apparel sector that took place earlier, he suggested long-term safety and rehabilitation programmes.

Riazuddin suggested that the BGMEA should launch a damage control campaign at the international level.

He said that the BGMEA would need to set up monitoring committee involving factory owners, workers, the International Labour Organisation, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha and law enforcers to avoid the recurrence of such incidents. He also suggested the establishment of a well-equipped permanent rescue team.

Motiur Rahman said that the BGMEA should send a business delegation to major markets such as the United States and the European countries for a campaign to maintain the apparel sector growth after the building collapse that negatively impacted the country’s apparel sector.

read more. & read more.

  

* Analysis- A difficult bridge to cross:

The picture is pretty clear now. A few are blaming the building owner, a few think the manufacturers ought to be ‘hanged’; a few are holding the retailers responsible for not paying enough and for not having imposed strict compliance codes; a few even think that nothing will be affected.

The real picture is far from any of this. No matter how much Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) tries and brings the entire sector under scrutiny, not much will change.

No matter how much the government tries to rein in safety measures and tough clauses, manufacturers will always find a loophole and use it as an exit point. No matter what anyone says or pledges, buyers will continue to buy from this country as competitive prices as they are not here for charity.  read more.

* BGMEA lingers probe report submission:

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) asked its probe body to submit the report on Savar Rana Plaza collapse within 10-day after the completion of rescue operation.

Wishing anonymity, a member of the probe body said, “A letter has been issued to us in this regard. read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Loblaw condemns ‘deafening silence’:

In the aftermath of a deadly collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh, one North American retail giant whose products have been made there is accusing the global industry of failing to properly respond.

“I am troubled by the deafening silence from other apparel retailers on this issue,” Galen Weston, the executive chairman of Loblaw, a Canadian apparel brand that used the Rana Plaza factory to manufacture its goods, said in Toronto on Thursday, during his company’s annual meeting. “As many as 30 international apparel brands were having goods manufactured in this building, yet only two have come forward and publicly commented.”

Weston announced that Loblaw will enact new rules aimed at preventing future tragedies. The company will now examine the structural integrity of factory buildings when it conducts audits of suppliers, and it will deploy employees to facilities that make its goods and have them send reports directly to corporate. The company is also forming a relief fund for the Rana Plaza victims and their families.

read more.

Logo

* The global garment trail : From Bangladesh to a mall near you:

As foreign retailers embraced Bangladesh’s cheap and speedy garment-making prowess, Bazlus Samad Adnan sensed there was a moment to be seized.

“There’s money in the air,” friends of the entrepreneur recall him saying. “You just need to know how to grab it.”

Adnan and a friend set up a small garment factory, New Wave Style, behind a slum outside Dhaka in 2006, just as foreign clothing giants swept into Bangladesh, enticed by rock-bottom labor costs. Within a few years, his company was doing work for top international brands, such as Italian retailer Benetton Group SpA.

By then, New Wave Style had moved to the sixth and seventh floors of Rana Plaza, one of myriad factory buildings to sprout amid the nation’s once-in-a-generation economic flowering.  read more.

Logo

* Action plan to protect workers safety in line with ILO:

Tripartite partners-government, employers and workers have taken an action plan under consultation with International Labour Organization (ILO) to prevent any tragedies like Rana Plaza.

The action plan was announced at a press briefing at the  Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the conclusion of Dhaka visit of  an ILO delegation led by its Deputy Director General (DDG)  Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo.

The ILO delegation visited Bangladesh from May 1 and May 4 to  convey the solidarity of the ILO with those affected by the  tragic events, the partners from government, labour and the  industry.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

BSS   daily star bd wf-escenic-times  newstodayBD

* Bangladesh collapse toll at 550, ILO urges closure of unsafe units:

The UN’s labour agency urged Bangladesh to close unsafe factories as search teams today pulled more bodies from the wreckage of the nation’s worst industrial disaster, pushing the death toll to at least 550.

The collapse of the eight-storey garment factory complex outside Dhaka last week was the latest in a string of catastrophes to befall the USD 20 billion textile industry, which accounts for 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports.

Action is needed to ensure such “avoidable accidents”, that tarnish the image of Bangladesh’s industrial image never recur, said Gilbert Houngbo, field operations deputy director-general at the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The government must “make sure all factories are inspected and any remedial action necessary is put in place,” Houngbo told AFP.  read more.

TOInew

* ILO against boycotting of Bangladeshi RMG:

Against the backdrop of the Savar tragedy, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) voiced its opposition against boycotting of Bangladeshi readymade garments by the international buyers.

“I want to make a plea to resist the temptation for boycott or sanction. We have to keep that away from the situation provided that we act and we act now in the country,” Deputy Director-General of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo told a press conference at the Foreign Ministry on Saturday afternoon before leaving Dhaka on completion of his visit to Bangladesh.

“I met some of the representatives of the buyers during my stay here. My understanding is that there is a serious will by the international brands to contribute. It is a matter of global organisations how do we orchestrate everything to make it happen. Be it prior security dimensions or the overall supply dimension,” he said.

read more.

logo

* Call to make comprehensive plan for RMG industry:

Editors and journalists of different media today laid emphasis on making a comprehensive plan taking opinions from stakeholders of the Readymade Garment (RMG) industry to restore the country’s image both at home and abroad.

The Savar building collapse and the frequent fire incidents  in the multi-billion dollar garment industry have hampered the image of the country and put its RMG industry at stake.

They were exchanging views with leaders of Bangladesh Garment  Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) at the BGMEA  Bhaban in the city.

They said a committee should be formed immediately involving  the stakeholders to make the comprehensive plan for the RMG  industry.

read more. & read more.

BSS  logo

* Disaster in Bangladesh rags in the ruins:

As production shifts from China, Bangladesh expects to become the world’s largest exporter of clothing. Buyers are unlikely to abandon it. Some firms linked to the Savar disaster have promised compensation for victims, said The Economist in its print edition on Saturday.

The European Union (EU) says it will push for higher standards. America, which had also been negotiating duty-free access for Bangladeshi goods, had already insisted on better conditions, said the London-based prestigious weekly. read more.

* BD for donors’ support for safety standards of RMG factories:

Bangladesh has sought help from the international community and the development partners for reinforcing the government’s efforts to ensure occupational safety and improve working conditions in apparel factories.

The ministry of commerce (MoC) sent letters last Thursday to some major development partners including the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU), seeking their assistance to this end.

“Following the tragic incident at Savar in Dhaka, the government is committed to redoubling its efforts to ensure occupational safety and improve working conditions in the factories,” the MoC wrote in its letter. It was intended to apprise the development partners of the steps taken so far by the government after the Rana Plaza collapse.  read more.

* Factory collapse a catalyst for workers’ rights:

Since the collapse last week of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza much of the focus has been on international retailers and what they can do to ensure the safety of the 3.6m Bangladeshis working in a $19bn industry focused on producing clothes for cost-conscious western consumers.

But Bangladeshi labour rights activists, and their international supporters, say the tragedy at Rana Plaza — which left more than 500 dead after garment workers were forced back to the production lines even after the building developed cracks — has highlighted a simple truth.

They argue that Bangladesh’s garment workers, mostly women from poor rural backgrounds, need to organise labour unions that can effectively represent their interests, including their fundamental interest in a safe workplace. read more.

daily star bd

* Conspiracy to destroy garments industry: How far tenable? :

When widespread unrest flared up in apparel hubs of Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj after the tragic Rana Plaza incident, industry leaders came up with a renewed plea that a ‘vested quarter’ was out to destroy the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industry by creating anarchy and unrest.

They said a vested group is instigating the workers for creating unrest in the apparel industry. As the sector is already undergoing a critical time following Savar tragedy, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) called upon all workers to refrain from agitation and join the factories and resume production for ‘the betterment of the sector and to make timely shipment of the products’.

Now the question remains — how far this ‘conspiracy theory’ is tenable?

read more.

* Long-term Solution for Recurrence of Savar type Disaster:

In a notice Dr. Syed Tarique-Uz-Zaman (Coordinator, SAPRODEW) writes:

Guy Rider, ILO DG is right saying two weaknesses responsible for recurrences of accidents in Bangladesh Garment factories; 1. is not allowing factory level union formation by the authority (law in favour of union is there, but authority willfully is not allowing), and 2. is weak Inspectorate of Factories.

In case of presence of union at factory level, then someone from the workers side could also point out OSH problem to the owners/ management, participate in monitoring.

Now, in the absence of union and representative of the workers no one is there to look after the workers safety problems inside factory.

That day in an interview Chief Inspector of Factories said that now the number of Inspector in their Institution is less than what they had in 1970, though number of factories is many folds. When an accident takes places Govt., form a “High power committee”, then after some days after some meetings and decisions (but no implementation and follow up) its function ceased to continue.

Instead of this type of adhoc measures we need Strengthening of this Institution and sufficient skilled manpower along with legal authority to take actions against the rule violators.   This institutionalisation would be a permanent measure.

Two more important steps are necessary: one is sufficient compensation package for dead and injured workers.

Now as per existing law it is BDT 100.000 (Equivalent to about Euro 1000), but time to time if the scale of disaster is big (like Tazrin factory) and nation wise hue and cry is there govt., BGMEA give more (for Tazrin Tk. 600.000) per worker.

But that is adhoc basis step. If in another factory one or two workers die then compensation would be just Tk. 100.000, not more.

So official compensation package must be raised depending on logical analysis, how much a workers would earn in his life time if s/he remains alive.

Now in Bangladesh all TUs and civil society people are demanding compensation on that basis, though calculations varies from one to other,

of which minimum comes to Tk. 1.000.000 (about Euro 10,000) and maximum Tk

3.000.000 (Euro 30,000).

This is logical demand not only helpful to solve immediate rehabilitation of workers (if alive with disability) and their families (if dead) but also will work as a deterrent for further accident as the owners will be cautious about safety of their factories in order to avoid big compensation money.

Next is legal actions as per building code as well as criminal code against the owners, negligence of whom caused so many deaths, this is just willful killing according to people from all sections. If that kind of punishment is ensured all other owners will be very much cautious about safety of their factories.

There can be other steps, but these 4 are fundamental.

DUCS-twitter

* Factory owners ignore safety as buyers refuse to share costs:

Factory owners in Bangladesh have failed to spend money for workers’ safety and their welfare as the buyers are not sharing such expenses despite doubling of production costs, stakeholders say.

They said depreciation of US dollar against Bangladesh taka, increased production costs and stiff competition among the factory owners to get work orders at almost cost price have squeezed their profits.

President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) Abdus Salam Murshedy told the FE Saturday more than a hundred woven and knitwear items are being exported from Bangladesh.

He said during the last one year, production costs of these items have doubled.

“But instead of sharing the costs, the buyers are paying less than earlier,” he alleged.

read more.

20130505

_____update 13.00h.(LT)____

* Death toll rises to 584:

The death toll rose to 584 in Savar Rana Plaza collapse with the recovery of 21 more bodies till 10:00am Sunday on the 12th day of the incident.

Of them, a total of 469 bodies were indentified and handed over to their families.

Confirming the death toll and body handover, Army control room said 21 more decomposed bodies were recovered from the debris between 6:00am to 10:00am.

Rescuers said they found some bodies at Phantom Garment housed at fourth floor of Rana Plaza around 10:00am. Of them, 12 bodies were recovered and more bodies remained trapped in that place.

read more. & read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo  daily star bd 

* Burnt rescuer dies in S’pore:

A rescuer, who sustained burn injuries while trying to rescue trapped garment worker Shaheena from Rana Plaza rubble on April 28, died at a Singapore hospital Saturday night.

Mohammad Ezazuddin Kaikobad, a volunteer aged around 35, breathed his last at 10:55pm (Bangladesh time), said Col Shayekh of ninth infantry division of Bangladesh Army told The Daily Star on Sunday.

Kaikobad was flown to Singapore for better treatment on the instructions of the prime minister on April 30.

Ezaz along with five other rescuers, including two army personnel, entered a tunnel inside the rubble of Rana Plaza on April 28 to pull out Shaheena, who got trapped behind a beam on the third floor.  read more. & read more.

daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo

* Army starts verifying claims on missing victims:

As the confusion over the actual figures of those missing in the Savar tragedy spreads, the Bangladesh Army, which is spearheading the rescue operations, has started verification of missing persons.

However, two senior Army officers, who were working at the control room, told The Independent on Friday night that they are only checking the list of 182 claims of missing persons, which was provided to them by the Dhaka district administration. According to the Army control room sources, among the 182 missing claims, the information of 17 claims are “incomplete” while eight were “unreachable” over telephone.

About the much-discussed list of Savar model police station, which earlier listed over 1,000 claims of missing persons, the Army personnel said: “We have communicated with the local police to obtain the list, but they have been dilly-dallying to hand over the list. We have not yet got the list from the police. We also sought the list of the readymade garments workers, who were working in the five garments factories at the devastated Rana Plaza, from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). But they also gave us incomplete lists.”

read more.

logo

* Victim’s wife sues Rana, 2 others- Murder case filed:

The wife of a dead victim of Savar building collapse filed a murder case against Sohel Rana, the owner of the shattered Rana Plaza, and two others on Sunday.

The other accused are: Bazlus Samad Adnan, owner of New Wave Style which was housed in the collapsed building, and the chief engineer of Savar municipality.

The name of the engineer could not be known immediately.

Sheuli Akter, widow of Jahangir Alam who was killed in the building collapse, filed the case with the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate of Dhaka.

read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo  logo

* Bangladesh building owner faces murder complaint over collapse:

The wife of a Bangladeshi garment worker who was killed when a building collapsed filed a murder complaint against the building’s owner on Sunday as the death toll from the country’s worst industrial disaster climbed to 622.

Murder complaints were also filed against the owner of one of the garment factories inside the building and a municipal engineer in the suburb of the capital, Dhaka, where the factory was located.

The owner of the Rana Plaza building, Mohammed Sohel Rana, was arrested after a four-day hunt as he appeared to be trying to flee across the border to India.

He is one of nine people being held in connection with the April 24 disaster, which the government has blamed on the building’s faulty, illegal construction. read more.

reuters

* Rana Plaza architect says building was never meant for factories:

Four factories were installed at Rana Plaza regardless – one of which supplied Primark and Bonmarche, the British clothing retailers – and two unplanned storeys were also added, helping to precipitate its collapse.

Massood Reza, the architect who drew up the plan for Rana Plaza in 2004, said he was “asked to design a commercial shopping mall” with “three or four storeys for a market and then the upper two storeys were for offices”.

He said: “We did not design it for industrial use. At that time the garment belt was not there. There was no demand for industrial buildings. If I had known that it was to be an industrial building, as per the rules I would have taken other measures for the building.”  read more.

* Bangladesh clothing imports soar in NZ:

Bangladeshi-made clothing is flooding New Zealand and retailers claim they have control over the often appalling conditions in the factories supplying them.

The Warehouse and Kmart deny any of their clothing came from the eight-storey Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24. More than 500 people are confirmed dead, with thousands injured.

Statistics New Zealand figures show that clothing imports from Bangladesh in 2011 (the latest available) jumped 51.3 per cent to $38 million worth including a 420.5 per cent jump in the value of women`s blouses and 148.6 per cent rise in male underwear. read more.

banglanews24 Logo

20130506

* Death toll rises to 627:

The death toll rose to 626 in Savar Rana Plaza collapse with the recovery of 57 more bodies the debris till 9:00pm Sunday on the 12th day of the incident.

Of them, a total of 480 bodies were identified and handed over to their families.

Confirming the death toll and body handover, Army control room said most of the recovered bodies were decomposed.

Rescuers suspected that many bodies remained trapped under the collapsed building.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo   bdnews24  daily star bd  newstodayBD   

* Rana Plaza: Of bondage, of the looser and the lost:

News - Rana Plaza: Of bondage, of the looser and the lost

Their dead bodies were found embracing one another, as if two sisters sleeping on one bed. The more surprising is that both had pillows under their heads.

It was about 7.45am on Sunday. Rescuers reached what they called yet another ‘mine’ of dead bodies at the backside of the third floor of the collapsed building. Removing some debris, they could see the dead bodies resting inside a cave-like section in the ruins.

The condition of the dead bodies speaks a lot. It was the 12th day of the collapse, but the dead bodies did not decompose at all.

Perhaps, they had survived five-six days trapped in the section, said the rescuer who pulled the first-two dead bodies out. There is no sign of injury in them, they might have died of hunger, he added.

More luckily, the identities of the two female workers were also made out from the vanity bags found there with the dead bodies.

There was a lunch box, a leaf of pills for stomach ache, a ribbon cutter, a bobbin, a prescription with a phone number written on it and another scrap paper with another phone number inside Farzana’s black vanity bag. Giving calls to one of the numbers, the Fire Service and Civil Defense (FSCD) officials identified her as the daughter of one Somed Ali in Dinajpur.  read more.

* Victims of Rana Plaza laid to rest in Chandpur:

After missing for ten days in the Savar tragedy the body of Selina Akter, 20, a staff of a garments factory on the 6th floor of Rana Plaza and also a resident of Upadhi village under Faridganj Upazila of the district was recovered on last Saturday morning from under the rubbles.

She was identified by her relatives at Audhorchondra High School ground. The body was taken to the village home on Saturday afternoon and then she was laid to rest in the family graveyard at around 3 p.m. Selina and her sister Aklima worked together on the 6th floor of Rana Plaza in a garments factory and with their income their poor family by far and less had a decent life. But this accident has shattered this family’s dream forever.

Deceased Selina was the daughter of late Sirajul Islam. Of the four daughters, Selina was the eldest. Last year, Selina along with her younger sister Aklima, 18, both worked in a garments factory in Rana plaza. They used to stay in their aunt Hosne Ara’s house at Savar. to read. & read more.

logo 

* As if two sisters sleeping on one bed:

Their dead bodies were found embracing one another, as if two sisters sleeping on one bed. The more surprising is that both had pillows under their heads, reports UNB.

It was about 7.45am on Sunday. Rescuers reached what they called yet another ‘mine’ of dead bodies at the backside of the third floor of the collapsed building. Removing some debris, they could see the dead bodies resting inside a cave-like section in the ruins.

The condition of the dead bodies speaks a lot. It was the 12th day of the collapse, but the dead bodies did not decompose at all.

Perhaps, they had survived five-six days trapped in the section, said the rescuer who pulled the first-two dead bodies out. There is no sign of injury in them, they might have died of hunger, he added.  read more.

* PM receives Tk 10.14 cr in donation for Savar victims:

More organisations and individuals donated cheques worth over Tk 10.14 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund on Sunday for assisting the families of those killed and injured in the tragic ‘Rana Plaza’ collapse on April 24.

PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters that Sheikh Hasina received cheques worth Tk 10,14,40,721 from 38 different organisations and individuals at her office. read more. & read more.

* Disney’s Disgrace:

Disney’s decision to pull out of Bangladesh is shameful and should not be emulated. Global companies have made huge profits by using Bangladeshi factories for years. Now is not the time to walk away.

If more companies left, it would be catastrophic for the country’s garment workers, who are already impoverished and have few other job options.

Although Disney may not have had that much production in Bangladesh, their policy change may lead to an exodus of other brands. What’s worse, Disney’s decision validates and justifies many factory owners’ practice of hiding their real problems from the global brands.

Corporate supply chain monitoring programs actually fuel the corruption that every brand representative in Bangladesh is bound to complain about. Their monitoring systems place additional requirements on factories without ensuring the financing needed to meet them, thereby encouraging factories to keep secret any safety risks they may have – precisely because they know brands are likely to walk away if they find out. If global brands want to ensure safety in their supply chains, they need to make a commitment – a contractual commitment – to the safety of the workers making their product.  read more.

NYT

* Benetton On Bangladesh Tragedy: No One In The Industry Should Feel Above It:

Italian apparel retailer Benetton initially denied any connection to the factory that collapsed in Bangladesh killing more than 500 people, but since then photos of the brand’s clothing in the building’s rubble have emerged.

“This is such a tragedy that no one in the industry should feel above it,” Benetton CEO Biagio Chiarolanza said in a statement to The Huffington Post on Friday. “As such, Benetton will make funds available to the victims of the families as every member of our industry has a moral obligation to intervene in their support.”

Benetton said it’s working with global non-profit organizations like the International Labor Organization to figure out how to facilitate a “significant and lasting improvement” in workers’ conditions in Bangladesh.  read more.

huffpost

* BGMEA factory reformation move leaves loopholes:

On the aftermath of the Savar Tragedy and while rescue teams toil in the rubble for bodies of victims, the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) declared that it would take a proactive action in reforming the factories through a thorough investigation and other accountability measures.

On May 1, 2013, the BGMEA released a message to its long list of garment factories and advertised it on the most widely circulated National Dailies of Bangladesh. An image of the message as published in the leading Bangla news broadsheet “Prothom Alo” on May 1, 2013, is attached in this report.

BGMEA_prothom Alo_1 may 2013

The message of the BGMEA is translated:

The respected members of the BGMEA are hereby informed that, the Structural Design and Soil Test Report of all the garment factories must be submitted to the BGMEA within 30 May, 2013. If the above mentioned Design Drawing are not available then the natural condition of factory building, i.e.  slab, column, beam and foundation size, number of rods and Soil Test Report, must be made by some certified engineering firm and submitted to the BGMEA in the mentioned time above.

As per this information provided by the BGMEA, it is quite natural for anyone to feel that a loophole remains in this process. Corruption in Bangladesh can easily allow factory owners to get themselves a certificate and submit it to the BGMEA, the same goes for the soil test. Although we do hope that none will go to the forbidden land of corruption, however, that is the most common place for some of our unfortunate garment owners as they most often fail to understand the relation that sustainability has with greater stake holder integration in the market.  read more.

* Savar tragedy and exodus of foreign buyers:

The Savar tragedy raises questions about the living standard and workplace condition of garments workers. Fixing higher standards, engaging the global buying houses in the rehabilitation programme and compensating the victims of the tragedy are some appropriate answers.

Here I must turn towards Bangladesh’s problems associated with governance and corruption. The Savar tragedy has occurred as a consequence of corruption in inspecting the building standard, in grabbing land illegally, getting political back up and using low grade material in the construction work by Sohel Rana, the owner of the complex.  read more.

* EU threatens of trade status suspension:

Urges immediate action by govt

European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has called for “immediate” action by the Bangladesh government to improve health and safety conditions in the nation’s garment industry after a factory collapse last month killed more than 500 people.

The government of Bangladesh must “change something,” De Gucht said on Sunday on RTBF radio.

“Otherwise I am ready to launch an investigation, which may lead to the suspension” of Bangladesh’s trade status with the EU, he said.

“If the result of this is that the price of T-shirts and jeans increases a bit, well that’s the way it is,” De Gucht said.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo   

* B’desh trade status reviewed by US before collapse:

Months before a garment-factory collapse in Bangladesh killed more than 500 people, the U.S. government said it was considering revoking the nation’s preferred trade status over treatment of workers, Bloomberg says in a special report.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a Jan. 8 notice in the Federal Register that “the lack of progress by the government of Bangladesh in addressing worker rights issues in the country warrants consideration of possible withdrawal, suspension or limitation Bangladesh’s trade benefits.”  read more.

* Apparel exporters to appoint lobbyists to retain GSP:

Apparel exporters have once again decided to appoint lobbyists to retain a trade benefit –generalised system of preferences — and get duty- and quota-free access for their products to the US market.

Two trade bodies in the sector have jointly taken the decision after the government advised them to do so following the fire at Tazreen Fashions and building collapse in Savar.

“We’re trying to appoint lobbyists; negotiations are going on,” said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, the immediate past president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Mohiuddin attended the latest GSP hearing before the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in March as Bangladesh’s workplace safety came under severe criticism.  read more.

daily star bd

* Unsafe BD factories must close: UN:

The United Nation`s labour agency urged Bangladesh to close unsafe factories as rescuers pulled more bodies from the wreckage of the nation`s worst industrial disaster in which at least 548 have died.

The collapse of the eight-storey garment factory complex outside Dhaka last week was the latest in a string of catastrophes to befall the country`s $US20 billion ($A19.6 billion) textile industry which accounts for 80 per cent of Bangladesh`s exports.

Action is needed to ensure such “avoidable accidents” that tarnish the image of Bangladesh`s industrial image never recur, said Gilbert Houngbo, field operations deputy director-general at the International Labour Organisation.  read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* No one knows how many were trapped:

Twelve days into the biggest industrial disaster in the country’s history, claiming at least 629 lives, there have been no moves to determine the actual number of people who were trapped inside Rana Plaza.

Although the BGMEA has been claiming that 3,122 workers were employed in the five factories at the nine-storey building in Savar, the trade body yesterday admitted to The Daily Star that the list was not an updated one.

Already the number of people rescued dead and alive has reached 3,066 (2,437 were rescued alive), with many more bodies still believed to be buried under the rubble.

BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told The Daily Star yesterday that looking at the old list it was impossible to say exactly how many people were inside the building at the time of the collapse on April 24.

“As far as I can remember, the list for two of the factories was updated at the end of 2012 and the rest were updated in February of this year,” he said.

This means the list does not include the names of workers who were employed in those factories over the last few months. read more.

daily star bd

* Apparel units will be closed if any more disaster takes place:

The LGRD and cooperatives minister, Syed Ashraful Islam, on Sunday said that all apparel units would be closed if any incidents such as the Rana Plaza collapse or fire in Tazreen Fashions Ltd took place again.

‘We may absorb the shock of the Rana Plaza collapse. But the apparel sector will be ruined if one more incident such as the Rana Plaza collapse or r Tazreen Fashions fire takes place,’ Ashraful said at a press conference at the office the Awami League president at Dhanmondi.

Asharful, also the Awami League’s general secretary, made the remarks as the government and apparel manufacturers and exporters are facing a growing pressure after the collapse of Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories. The building collapse has left At least 626 people, mostly apparel workers, dead by Sunday evening.  read more.

20130507

* Death toll from Savar collapse hits 677:

The death toll soared to 677 yesterday. Rescuers still expect more bodies from the rubble of Rana Plaza at Savar as many have remained missing since the country’s deadliest industrial disaster on April 24.

At least 44 bodies were recovered yesterday. The army team that has been leading the rescue operation is clueless about how many are now buried in the debris since the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has not yet published a comprehensive list of the workers who used to work at five garment factories in the nine-storey building.

The trade body had declared that it would pay salaries to the workers today but yesterday its leaders said they were skeptical about making it as the list had not been done yet.

read more  & read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  BSS     banglanews24 Logo  logo

* 2 Savar engineers sent to jail:

A Dhaka Court on Monday sent two Saver municipal engineers to jail as the police produced them after interrogation in custody for eight days in connection with the Rana Plaza collapse that killed more than 600 people.

Dhaka senior judicial magistrate Washim Shekh passed the order after the investigation officer in the case, Detective Branch inspector Mir Shahen Shah Parvez, told the court that Savar municipal executive engineer Imtemam Hossain, 46, and assistant engineer Alam Mia, 44, gave some important information during their interrogations.

The same court on April 27 remanded the two engineers in custody for eight days for interrogation.

On 24 April, the eight-storey Rana Plaza at Savar, housing five garment factories, a shopping complex and a branch of BRAC Bank, collapsed, leaving more than 600, mostly garments workers killed and scores injured.  to read.

* Testimony of Shapla, Left Arm Amputation and a Serious Head Injury:

“My name is Shapla and I am 20 years old.  I worked at the New Wave Style factory on the second floor of the Rana Plaza building.  My ID card is #12047.  We have a four-year-old son named Mursalin.  I was a sewing machine operator.

“On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, we started working at 8:00 a.m.  After about an hour, the back side of the building caved in.  Like other workers, I ran to the stairs to escape.  But a large concrete pillar fell on me.  My left arm was crushed and pinned under the pillar.  I was in extreme pain.  I felt like my arm and head were cut from my body.  At 9:30 a.m., within 30 minutes of the collapse, a rescue team pulled me out of the ruins and took me to the Rebeya Clinic in Savar.

“A doctor stitched my head wound and referred me to the Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital to try to save my left arm.  I was brought to Dhaka on April 25.  My left arm was so badly crushed that the doctor said they would have to amputate.  My arm below the elbow was cut off.  I still have severe headaches.  I had 10 to 15 stitches.  No one can realize such pain, who has not had to face it.  It is beyond our endurance.

“I wanted to live for my son, but not like the way I must now live.  There is no chance that I can lead a normal life.  I can’t think how bad my future might be.  The doctor did not say how long I will need to stay in the hospital.  It may take two months, or six months.  read more.

IGLHR

* Last Hope in Ruins: Bangladesh’s Race to Save Shaheena:

The rescuers discovered her by a faint, distant sound. They had spent four days crawling through the wreckage of Rana Plaza, tons of concrete and steel pressing down, saving hundreds of people. Now only the dead remained. Except for a lone woman, a garment worker.

She was trapped behind a fallen pillar, in a suffocating crevice maybe two feet high. First, the rescuers could see only her fingertips pressing through a tiny opening. After hours spent chipping a small hole, they could see her face. Her name was Shaheena. She was 32. She begged to see her young son.

The story of Shaheena, involving a heroic if ultimately doomed rescue operation, offered the last bit of hope of finding anyone alive in what is now considered the deadliest accident in the history of the garment industry. For hours on April 28, as television reporters broadcast updates, rescuing Shaheena became a national priority. She would be trapped for more than 100 hours.  read more.

NYT

* While earning the least, they suffer the most!:

Plight of the RMG workers

The size of the Bangladesh ready-made garment (RMG) industry is USD 13 billion and it is the second-largest source of foreign exchange earnings after remittances.

This has happened due to the so-called competitive edge, i.e., cheap labour, but how cheap is that? Some workers earn even as low as Tk 3,000/4,000 per month, which is even much less compared to the workers in the neighbhouring countries like India and Pakistan. Hence, the competitive edge has been attained only by paying less to the workers, who work almost every day, and for long hours.

These people, being attracted by the urban glitter, come from their villages to try their luck in Dhaka. However, most of these people receive very little and find their lives very miserable. Once they join the garment industries, their dreams start to evaporate, leaving them in a state of dissatisfaction.

Day by day, they realise that things are not as rosy as they had thought to be. These industries absorb all their energy but what they receive is in no way worth their contributions, which have led to the hefty profits of the owners and a steady growth of the country.  read more.

* BGMEA demands special budgetary allocation:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Monday demanded a special allocation in next budget to help apparel manufacturers for rehabilitation of their factories.

“The fund will be used for providing loan to readymade garment (RMG) manufacturers, who wish to rehabilitate their units, on easy terms,” said BGMEA president Atiqul Islam while addressing a press briefing at BGMEA Bhaban on Monday.

Stressing the need for relocating the factories outside the capital city, the BGMEA president demanded 500 acres of land out of 2000 acres earmarked for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Mirsharai in Chittagong. “This will help build up a compliant, risk free RMG industrial zone,” said the BGMEA president adding that there is no alternative to relocate the factories in industrial or special economic zones.

In case of relocating the factories in their own lands, the BGMEA leader demanded immediate connection of power and gas supply. If necessary, he suggested transferring the existing connections to the new places to ensure early and smooth production.  read more.

logo

* PM to receive donations for Savar victims Tuesday:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive donations for the ‘Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund’ on Tuesday to provide assistance for the Savar building collapse victims.

PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad has said the Prime Minister will receive cheques for the fund at her office (PMO) from 12 noon on the day.

Those  interested to donate to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for the ill-fated families of those killed and injured in the Savar building collapse have been requested to hand over cheques at the PMO on the day. to read.

* German government to provide Taka 50 lakh for Savar victims:

The German government has committed to provide Taka 50 lakh support to some of the victims of the Savar building collapse who lost limbs or were injured seriously.

The aim is to help the disabled persons regain their mobility, enabling them to lead a life in dignity and again work for their living, a German embassy press release said here today.

Besides, financial assistance will also be given to victims of the tragedy or their families for accommodation, food and transport cost.

The German Red Cross (DRK) together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will implement the project.

read more. & read more.

BSS 

* India to provide artificial limbs to Savar victims:

India says it will rehabilitate the Savar survivors who have lost their limbs using ‘world renowned expertise’ available in the country.

According to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, the government would “sponsor, facilitate and arrange for the rehabilitation of those victims.”

They expressed their ‘deep regret and condolence’ over the April 24 nine-story building collapse that killed more than 650, mostly garment workers.

More than 1000 have been injured with scores losing legs and hands.

read more. & read more. & read more.

bdnews24    banglanews24 Logo

* Rana Plaza’s 2 RMG factories had 2,141 workers: BGMEA:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Monday claimed there were 2,141 workers in two of the five readymade garment (RMG) factories housed in the collapsed Rana Plaza.

At a press conference at BGMEA Bhaban, its president Atiqul Islam said 1,543 workers were employed by New Wave Style Ltd, while 598 by New Wave Bottoms Ltd.

“We hope we’ll be able to make out the list of workers employed by the remaining three factories – Ether Tex Ltd., Phantom Apparels Ltd. and Phantom Tac Ltd.,” he said.

The BGMEA will start paying the wages and allocations of the workers once the list is completed, he added.

to read. & read more.

daily star bd

* Payment of wages to Savar RMG workers to take some more days:

Payment of wages to the workers of the five apparel factories housed in collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar will take some more days as the BGMEA is yet to collect list of all the workers.

Earlier, the BGMEA said it will pay all the wages and arrears of the workers by May 7.

“We could only prepare workers’ list of two factories-New Wave Style Ltd and New Wave Bottoms Ltd where 1543 and 598 respectively were employed,” Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Atiqul Islam told reporters at a press conference held at its headquarters in the city Monday.

We need two or three days more to prepare the workers’ list of the rest three factories and immediately after that, we will clear all the wages and arrears of workers, he said.  read more.& read more.

  

* Death toll rises to 696:

The death toll rose to 696 in Savar Rana Plaza collapse with the recovery of six more bodies the debris till 10:00am Tuesday on the 14th day of the incident.

Of them, a total of 684 bodies were identified and handed over to their families.

Confirming the death toll and body handover, Army control room said most of the recovered bodies were decomposed.

Earlier, fire fighters, Red Crescent men led-by Army recovered 57 more bodies from the debris from early Monday to midnight.  read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo 

20130508

* Rana Plaza death toll hits 735:

The death toll from the disastrous Rana Plaza collapse reached 735 with the recovery of 45 more bodies on Tuesday.

Rescue workers retrieved the 45 bodies from the ruins of the collapsed building from 6am to 7pm today (Tuesday), said sources at the Army control room set up at Mansur Market in Savar Bus Stand area.

Of the recovered corpses, 560 were handed over to the families while 52 have been kept on the Savar Adhar Chandra Model High School ground while the rest at the morgues of Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Mitford Hospital and Jurain Graveyard, he said.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

newstodayBD banglanews24 Logo BSS  bdnews24

 * Procession of dead goes on:

The more rescuers remove rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza, the more they find dead, decomposed bodies. Some 56 bodies were pulled out of the wreckage on the 14th day yesterday since the deadliest industrial disaster in the country.

Including these victims, the death toll reached 730, which is expected to go up when rescuers get deeper into the concrete mess. The nine-storey building at Savar outside Dhaka housed five garment factories and many shops.

Meanwhile, dillydalling throughout the day, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) began giving wages and other benefits to the workers at around 9:00pm.

Hundreds of garment workers who survived the incident and relatives of the dead demonstrated near Savar bus stand, demanding wages and perks. They blocked the busy Dhaka-Aricha highway at about 10:15am for around two hours. They launched the protest in front of Razzak Plaza after they got to know that wages would not be given as per an earlier announcement by BGMEA. read more.

daily star bd

* No more tears left:

Relatives of Savar victims suffer in silence, wait

The tears in their eyes have almost dried up. Some even do not have the energy to wail or frantically rush here and there anymore. But still, they wait at Adhar Chandra High School playground in Savar to collect the bodies of their loved ones, lost in Rana Plaza collapse.

For the last 14 days since the worst factory disaster of the country, relatives of the victims have been rushing from one hospital to another in Savar and Dhaka with swinging between hope and despair.

As their frantic search turned futile, they returned to the school playground where the recovered bodies are brought for identification. The place is now a virtual home to around 100 people who have been waiting to collect the bodies of their near ones for a burial.

“My prayer is that the Almighty helps me find my daughter’s body, so that her mother can see her and put to eternal rest,” said Shamsul Alam of Naogaon, adding, “I don’t know how long Allah will continue to put my faith to test.

read more.

daily star bd

* 16 unclaimed bodies from Rana Plaza buried:

Sixteen unclaimed dead bodies from Rana Plaza were buried on Tuesday at Jurain graveyard in the city.

The unidentified bodies were recovered from the debris of the collapsed multi-storied building Rana Plaza at Savar which killed hundreds of apparel factory workers after the mishap on May 24.

Additional district magistrate of Dhaka Abul Fazal Mir told New Age the recovered dead bodies were initially kept at Adhar Chandra School ground at Savar for identification by relatives and later taken to Mitford Hospital morgue. read more.

* RMG workers block Dhaka-Aricha highway:

Workers at five garment factories housed in the collapsed Rana Plaza block Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar bazaar bus stand area Tuesday morning demanding their arrears. Photo: TV grab

Workers at five garment factories housed in the collapsed Rana Plaza block Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar bazaar bus stand area Tuesday morning demanding their arrears. Photo: TV grab

Workers of the five garment factories, located on the collapsed Rana Plaza, on Tuesday blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway in Savar Bus Stand area, demanding the payment of their arrear salaries in the last four months.

Four of the factories were identified as New Wave Limited, Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tek Limited and Ithar Tek Limited.

The workers said BGMEA was scheduled to pay their arrear salaries in the last four months today, but they were angered as they came to know that the BGMEA will pay the arrear salaries of only two months.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

  daily star bd  logo  

* RMG workers start getting salaries:

BGMEA on Tuesday started disbursing salaries to the workers of four garment factories housed at the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar on behalf of the owners.

The workers will receive salaries of three months, Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told The Daily Star.

The four garment factories are New Wave Style, New Wave Bottoms, Phantom Apparels and Phantom Tac.

The list of workers of another Ether Tex will be prepared by Tuesday, said Islam.

“We are expecting salary disbursement to the workers of Ether Tex by tomorrow Wednesday.”

BGMEA is disbursing salaries to the workers at local Adhar Chandra High School premises at Savar. to read. & read more.

daily star bd daily star bd

* More donation to PM relief fund for Savar victims :

More organizations and individuals donated cheques of financial assistance to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for the families of Savar victims.

Prime Minister’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad said the Prime Minister received cheques of donation from eleven organizations and individuals at her office today.

Minister for Environment and Forests Dr Hasan Mahmud donated his one month salary to the fund while officials and employees donated their one day salary.

Officials and employees of the Ministry of Labour and Employment donated their tw0 day salary to the fund.

read more. & read more.

BSS 

BGMEA probe body starts functioning:

Identifying Rana Plaza Collapse Faults

The investigate committee formed by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) to look into the cause of Rana Plaza collapse, started to work.

The 9-member committee led by 2nd Vice-President of BGMEA S M Mannan Kochi visited the spot; the Rana Plaza collapsed area, and collected samples of rod and cement of the building.

The committee later sent the sample to Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (BUET) laboratory to find out its strength.  read more.

DAILY SUN

20130509

* More bodies lie under rubble:

Relatives still look for their loved ones who remain missing on the fifteenth day into the Rana Plaza tragedy. The death toll climbs up at 794 as more bodies are recovered at the site on Wednesday. (Photo: SK Enamul Haq-Daily Star)

Forty-nine bodies were recovered from the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza on Wednesday, taking the death toll from the disastrous building collapse to 810.

Rescuers recovered the 49 bodies from the wreckage from 6am to 8pm today, said sources at the Army control room set up at Mansur Market in Savar bus stand area.

Of the recovered corpses, 594 were handed over to the families while 62 have been kept on the Savar Adhar Chandra Model High School ground.

Seventy-nine unidentified bodies after taking DNA samples have been buried at Jurain Graveyard so that family members of the dead can later find them.

read more. & read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

& read more.

daily star bd      BSS   logo  banglanews24 Logo  newstodayBD

* Bodies coming out endlessly:

The disaster management control cell, formed to coordinate the rescue work at Rana Plaza site in Savar, hopes to call off the operation in two to three days, subject to no more bodies are found in the rubble.

However, bodies are still being found. A total of 73 bodies was recovered yesterday, as of filing of this report around 9:30pm.

With this, the death toll of the worst factory disaster of the country reached to 819. Of them, 613 bodies have been handed over to their families.

An officer of the disaster management control cell said they would wait for the rescuers’ final report before calling off their operation.

“If no more bodies are found, we will handover the responsibility of the operation to district administration, said Lt Col Saiful Islam, a member of the engineering rescue team.

He said that the rescuers had so far been able to reach 50 metres inside the rubble through the rear of the collapsed building and created access to the first and second floors through the front.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) continued to distribute salaries among the workers survived at Savar cantonment shooting ground.

However, BGMEA did not comply with workers’ demanded for four months’ salary for all workers irrespective of their joining date.

This sparked dissatisfaction over the payment in the workers.

read more.

daily star bd

* Haunted, forever:

Laboni springs up on her bed whenever someone tries to wake her up. Screaming and groaning, she frequently asks her father, “Get me out of the building. It terrifies me.”

The 22-year-old lost her left hand while being rescued 36 hours after the most tragic building collapse in the country’s history on April 24 morning.

On the late night of April 25, she was brought to the Intensive Care Unit of Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar from the wreckage of the nine-storey Rana Plaza that housed five garment factories on its top six floors.

She is now being treated in a ward on the seventh floor of the 10-storey hospital.

Her appalling experience of “coming back to life from death’s door” is a trauma too shocking to bear. But, when this correspondent interviewed her on April 27, she looked strong enough to describe what she had gone through since the collapse and also what she had been thinking about her future.

“My life is ruined,” said Laboni, who married in 2011 but still has no child.

“But I don’t want to see the life of any other man or woman is ruined like mine.

“I request the government to do something for me so I can live my life in a way so that none can neglect me or hurt me,” she told The Daily Star on Tuesday.

Minutes before the disaster struck, her father, Mobashwer Ali, had asked her over the cellphone to leave the building. But she had no time for that.  read more.

daily star bd

* 1,776 Rana Plaza workers paid wages, arrears:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) disbursed wages and other arrears among 1,776 out of a total of 3,619 enlisted workers of the garment factories housed at the Rana Plaza.

“It took some more time to prepare the list of the workers of the Rana Plaza factories as all documents were destroyed during the accident,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said at a press conference held in the city Wednesday. read more.

* Rana Plaza engineer sent to jail:

A Dhaka court on Wednesday sent chief engineer of Savar Rana Plaza Abdur Razzak to jail after four days remand.

Dhaka Senior Judicial Magistrate Wasim Sheikh passed the order.

Earlier, a team of Detective Branch (DB) of Police arrested chief engineer of Savar Rana Plaza Abdur Razzak from his Savar residence on Thursday. read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* Rehabilitation of the victim families of Savar tragedy:

Rana Plaza building turned into a tragedy when thousands of men and women workers were forced by their employers to work in a place inspectors had previously ordered to close for safety reason.

The eight-story building collapsed on April 24, 2013. The rescue team, which is still working, has already found 772 bodies. More than 2400 people are severely injured. Many people are missing till May 07.

Meanwhile, anxious relatives of the missing people have been waiting at the Adhar Chandra High School ground in Savar. They do not have sufficient food, water, shelter from rain and heat. read more.

* “The Stench of Death Is Everywhere”:

Please Donate Now to Help Victims of Bangladesh Factory Collapse

More than ten years ago, when we first partnered with workers’ rights advocates in Bangladesh, we at the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights knew that their work for safer and fairer conditions was vital ─ and that many needless deaths would result from corporate greed before the system improved.

In our worst imaginings, however, we did not envision the devastation wrought this week. As of Monday morning, May 7, 717 workers are confirmed dead in the collapse of the illegally constructed Rana Plaza building, which housed five factories that produced garments for the U.S., Canada and Europe.

“The stench of death is everywhere,” we are told by our friend and colleague Rafiqul Islam Sujan, president of the Garment and Industrial Workers’ Federation. The death toll could reach 1,000 or more, given that only about half of the rubble has been removed. Sujan knows these workers well, as his office is one block from Rana Plaza. For years, his team of brave activists has fought to help workers there who were paid just 12 to 26 cents an hour, while toiling 90 to 100 hours a week.

Of course, corporations who abuse like this every day will fight tooth and nail to avoid compensating victims of their criminal greed. I am writing to you today because hundreds of workers and families need help ─ NOW.

We have to move quickly. read more.

IGLHR

* Savar Tragedy, Garments Industry and Bangladesh:

By Dr Muhammad Yunus

1.0 Savar tragedy is a symbol of our failure as a nation. The crack in Rana Plaza that caused the collapse of the building has only shown us that if we don’t face up to the cracks in our state systems, that we as a nation will get lost in the debris of the collapse.

Today the souls of those who lost their lives in Rana Plaza are watching what we are doing and listening to what we say.  The last breath of those souls surrounds us.

Did we learn anything at all from this terrible massacre?  Or will we have completed our duty by merely expressing our deep sympathy?

2.0 What should we do?

(a) Do everything to prevent such an incident from being repeat the future.

(b) What to do for those who have lost lives, their limbs or their livelihoods?

(c) What do we need to do to not only save our garments industry but make it even more strong?

(d) The collapse of the nine-floor building in Savar was not merely a collapse. The collapse of the building is just a precursor to the imminent collapse of all our state institutions. If we look closely at the collapse of the Savar building, we can read the symptoms of collapse of our state institutions. We will have to find ways to fix the institutions to protect them from complete collapse.

 

Citizen`s Action Group

3.0 I will discuss how we might be able to not just save, but also strengthen our garments industry.

read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo  daily star bd

_____update 09.30h.(LT)____

* Rana on fresh remand:

Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed high rise Rana Plaza, was placed on fresh remand for 12 days yesterday in two cases for illegal possession of a firearm and drugs.

The accused, now on 15-day remand, is being grilled in two other cases.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Taiyabul Hasan placed Rana on police remand for seven days in the arms case and five days in the drugs case, said Alamgir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Dhamrai Police Station.

The two cases were filed with the police station after detectives of Dhaka district recovered a pistol, five bullets and five bottles of phensedyl from Rana’s brickfield at Dhamrai on May 5.

Law enforcers arrested Rana from Benapole of Jessore on April 28, four days after his nine-storey building caved in, causing huge casualties.  to read.

daily star bd

* Kaikobad, a face of humanity:

Kaikobad, the valiant man who sacrificed his life trying to rescue trapped garment workers from under the rubble of Rana Plaza in Savar, was in fact going to his construction site in Gazipur on the afternoon of April 25, a day after the building had collapsed.

A Good Samaritan from childhood, the 35-year-old could not sit quietly after he had watched television reports on the disaster, said his elder sister Nurunnahar.

On the afternoon of April 25, he started for Gazipur on his motorbike. As he reached near the collapse site, he parked his motorbike in front of a shop and jumped right into action. Over the next five days, the father of two did not think about anything other than the rescue of the victims.

Kaikobad had rescued alive at least 26 people, said rescuers and his family.

read more.

daily star bd

* Death toll rises to 892:

The death toll rose to 892 in Savar Rana Plaza collapse with the recovery of 15 more bodies the debris till 7:30 am Thursday on the 16th day of the incident.

Of them, a total of 632 bodies were identified and handed over to their families.

Confirming the death toll and body handover, Army control room said 15 more decomposed bodies were recovered from 6:00am to 7:30am. read more.

banglanews24 Logo

20130510

* Savar toll reaches 978:

The toll from the collapse of the eight-storey Rana Plaza at suburban Savar stood at 978 as rescuers today retrieved 102 bodies while officials said they were at the last stage of the salvage campaign which continued for the 16th consecutive days.

” Some 102 more bodies were retrieved since 6 am to 11 pm today . . . the figure is now 978,” an official of the makeshift army control room told BSS as heavy cranes and bulldozers were removing tonnes of concrete ruins while rescuers looked for decomposed bodies covering their nose against odours.

The retrieved bodies were temporarily kept at the nearby Adharchandra High School ground for identification by relatives and then were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) morgue for DNA test ahead of their burial as unidentified dead.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

BSS  daily star bd  newstodayBD bdnews24

* 76 more unidentified victims buried:

Seventy six more unidentified apparel workers, who were among hundreds of other victims of April 24 Rana Plaza disaster, were buried at Jurain Graveyard on Thursday.

Following late recovery, the authorities handed over the bodies of the victims to Anjuman-e-Mufidul Islam for burial.

Recovery of the bodies from under the rubble of the collapsed multi-storied Rana Plaza continues. read more.

* Banks asked to submit account details of Rana, factory owners by Tuesday:

Bangladesh Bank (BB) today asked all scheduled banks to report it back the account details of Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building Rana Plaza at Savar and 21 owners and directors of four garment units housed in the building.

The central bank in a circular directed all banks to send  the account details of the persons by Tuesday. Earlier on April  30, BB ordered freezing their bank accounts following a directive  of the High Court.

The 21 directors of the garment factories include Bazlus  Samad, Mahmudur Rahman, Delwar Ahmed, AR Aiyub Hossain and Md  Delwar Hossain of New Wave Bottoms Ltd, Nazim Uddin, ABM Sididqu, Suraya Begum and Aleya Begum of Phantom Apparels Ltd, Aminul  Islam of Phantom Apparels and Phantom-TAC Ltd, David Mayour Rico and Amirul Islam Mahmud of Phantom- TAC Ltd, Anisur Rahman, Mahbubul Alam, Jasmine Alam Biva, Mohammad Nazrul Islam, Mrs

Marium, Jannatul Ferdaus, Shafiqul Bhuyan, Rafiqul Islam and  Monwar Hossain Biplob of Ether Tex Ltd.

  to read. & read more.

BSS

* The issue of taking foreign help in rescue operation:

The unfortunate and deadly factory collapse at Savar occurred on April 24 and the death toll is now set to cross 900. Another 500 are considered missing as per a guesstimate of rescuers assigned there.

Around 3,500 workers were in the building before it collapsed. Building owner Sohel Rana, a powerful companion of local MP, forced the workers to return to work inside the Rana Plaza in spite of knowing the risks of collapse. In the first response after the incident, the common people of Savar rushed immediately to rescue the people trapped under debris.

This was a nine-storey building which foundered suddenly from the level three. But it showed an ominous sign of visible cracks on the day before the collapse but was ignored by the building and factory owners.

A bank branch in the level two, however, instantly evacuated its staffs and documents fearing the impending collapse.

After the accident, the government swung into action immediately by assigning the Fire Brigade, the Army, the Rapid Action Battalion and the police with available logistics to rescue the trapped workers where common people assisted them with their fullest capacity.

The whole Savar tragedy was telecast live by the satellite channels and the entire country was glued to the TV sets in utter shock. read more.

____________ update 11.00h (LT)________

* Savar tragedy turns spotlight to Murad Jung:

Bangladeshi lawmaker Talukder Mohammad Towhid Jung Murad was guest of honour at the August 2010 inauguration of a five-storey building in his constituency named Rana Plaza. Three years later he was back, this time helping pull survivors from the rubble.

Now, two weeks after the block collapsed killing more than 900 people, Murad is facing a furious backlash from grieving families, some of whom say they want him hanged for his role as a political patron of the block’s owner.

“I rescued 320 people alive,” Murad told Reuters. “But now I’m a villain.”

His words have a hollow ring to relatives clinging to a vanishing hope that rescue crews will retrieve something recognizable of their missing loved ones, many of them young seamstresses, whose bodies lie buried in a morass of fallen concrete in Savar, Murad’s gritty industrial constituency outside the capital Dhaka. read more.

bdnews24

* Body identification a challenge now:

BODIES RECOVERED YESTERDAY 120 DEATH TOLL 996

It is as if an assembly of the departed had gathered at the approximately 120-feet-long L-shaped verandah of Adhar Chandra High School to silently protest the utter injustice done to them.

The silence is often broken at intervals by the wailing of grief-stricken relatives after they identify the victims.

Yesterday was the 16th day of the rescue operation since the country’s deadliest industrial disaster but bodies were still emerging endlessly from the mangled wreckage of the nine-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five garment units and shops, in Savar outside Dhaka.The dead were brought to the school nearly one kilometre from the spot for identification.

For those who have to wait further at the school ground to see their loved ones one last time, the pain seems unbearablle. read more.

daily star bd

* Death toll jumps to 1033:

The death toll from Savar building collapse has reached 1033 on Friday on the 17th day of the disaster.

Twenty bodies were recovered between 6:00am and 10:00am, according to army control room in Savar.

Rescuers still expect more bodies from the rubble of Rana Plaza at Savar as many have remained missing since the country’s deadliest industrial disaster on April 24.

According to the ISPR control room, the number of people rescued alive were 2,437.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd     banglanews24 Logo  logo

____________ update 17.20h (LT)________

* Rana Plaza death toll jumps to 1043:

The death toll from Savar building collapse has reached 1,043 on Friday, the 17th day of the disaster.

Thirty bodies were recovered between 6:00am and 2:30pm, according to army control room in Savar.

Rescuers earlier expected to come close to a wrap-up by Friday morning, but the fresh recoveries show signs that the rescue operation may go on for two days more.

Colonel Ibn Fazal Shayekuzzaman, coordinating staff of the rescue operation, told this to The Daily Star on Friday, adding that the rescue team reached close to the basement from both front and back portions of the collapsed building.

The rescuers have information that nearly 45 cars were parked at the basement.They still expect more bodies from the rubble of Rana Plaza at Savar as many have remained missing since the country’s deadliest industrial disaster on April 24.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  logo BSS

20130511

* Woman pulled out alive:

Reshma found almost unhurt, rushed to Savar CMH

Miraculous as it may sound, a woman was rescued alive, almost unhurt, from inside the rubble of Rana Plaza Friday afternoon, the 17th day into the country’s worst building collapse.

Named Reshma, the woman, who clung to life in the basement of the now flattened nine-storey building, was pulled out at 4:25pm as the death toll from the collapse reached 1,043.

With almost no sign of injuries in her body, the woman was whisked off to Combined Military Hospital in Savar.

“She is in good health,” Maj Moazzem Hossain, a member of the army, told a curious army of journalists minutes after the rescue as the welcome news swept through the country.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

& read more.& read more.

daily star bd BSS logo  banglanews24 Logo bdnews24

* United in prayer:

All eyes were on the television screens and many of their hands in the air, praying for safe rescue of a mighty heart.

Witnessing an unprecedented event where hundreds of rescuers fight to bring out a survivor from a hole of a collapsed building in Savar on Friday afternoon.

All hopes fainted when the rescuers started using heavy machinery, cranes and bulldozers, to clear off the crashed concretes and search for bodies from the tragic site at Savar.

Time seemed still for moments. The whole world followed the rescue operation of a woman who is still alive after 17 days into the collapse without food and water

read more.

daily star bd

* Bangladesh finds building collapse survivor:

Woman garment worker found alive in rubble of Dhaka building 17 days after it collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people.

Bangladeshi rescuers have found a woman survivor in the rubble of a garment-factory complex in Dhaka which collapsed and killed more than 1,000 people, according to the country’s fire service chief.

read and see more. (video).

aljazeera

* Rana Plaza death toll jumps to 1055:

The death toll from the disastrous Rana Plaza collapse climbed to 1055 with the recovery of 38 more bodies till Friday night.

The 38 bodies were pulled out of the ruins from 8pm on Thursday till 9pm on Friday, said General Commanding Officer of the 9th Infantry Division Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardi.

Of the retrieved bodies, 742 were handed over to the families and kept at the morgues of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and Mitford Medical College Hospital.

read more.

* 2 RMG factory owners sent to jail- Capital punishment sought :

A Dhaka court has sent the owners of two readymade garment factories to jail after their remand in connection with the two cases filed over the collapse of Rana Plaza, that has so far claimed over 1,000 lives, ended.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Wasim Sheikh on Friday rejected bail pleas of the accused.

New Wave Bottoms Chairman Bazlus Samad Adnan, 45, and its Managing Director Mahmudur Rahman Tapash, 48, were sent on a 12-day remand, two days after the nine-storied block caved in. The following day, Aminul Islam, 50, Chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd, and Phantom Tek Ltd was sent on an 11-day remand in the same cases.  read more. & read more. & read more.

bdnews24  logo

* Hope regained:

Rescuers suspend using heavy equipment after miraculous rescue of Reshma

 

With the rescue operation into its 17th day, little did the rescuers think about pulling any more survivors out of the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza.

But much to their surprise, there was Reshma alive yesterday. The young female garment worker was rescued, almost unhurt, in the afternoon.

The death toll from the country’s deadliest building collapse has reached to 1,058, as 45 more bodies were recovered as of filing this report today at 1:50am.

Besides, 2,438 people have been rescued alive so far, according to army control room in Savar.

Hoping to find out some more survivors, the rescuers yesterday suspended using heavy equipment, which they had employed on April 28, three days after the disaster hit the high rise in Savar.  read more.

daily star bd

* Reshma: A ray of hope for Bangladesh amid ruins:

“I called but nobody heard me. I heard noises, but nobody listened to me.” But when a rescue worker finally heard her faint cries 17 days after the collapse of her factory, Reshma became an instant heroine, a ray of hope for a nation numbed by one of world’s worst industrial disasters.

Details about how the seamstress survived the cave-in that killed more than 1,000 people have yet to emerge, but rescuers said the 18-year-old clung to life with dried food and a bottle of water.

In a narrow pocket in the pancaked building, she found three other survivors. They died one after another but Reshma battled on.  read more.

logo

* Rescuers pull out 31 more bodies- death toll 1084 :

The death toll reached at 1084 with recovery of 31 more bodies since last midnight from under the rubble of Savar Rana Plaza collapse, as the rescuers continued the salvage operation for the 18th consecutive day, today.

“The death toll stands at 1084 at 12pm,” an official of the makeshift army control room told BSS today.

Of the dead, 781 bodies were handed over to their relatives while 40 corpses have been kept at the nearby Adharchandra High School ground for identification by relatives, he informed.

If the relatives fail to identify the bodies, those will be sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for DNA test ahead of their burial as unidentified dead.

read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

BSS  daily star bd     banglanews24 Logo logo

* Maimed, they look to bleak future:

Mariam Akter snapped at her husband for the way he was combing her long, unkempt hair. Her spouse, Hamidul Islam, propped up her head and began combing, now softly.

“This is the first time I tried to help her brush her hair,” said Hamidul, standing next to Mariam’s bed at Pongu hospital, where Mariam and 105 other survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster are being treated.

Hamidul feels lucky that Mariam has survived the collapse that killed more than 1,000 people and injured scores, many of them maimed for life.

Mariam worked as a helper at a garment factory on the third floor of the nine-storey building, and has had her right arm and leg broken in the collapse.

Relatives of other injured were also seen taking care of their loved ones on Sunday evening. Every bed at wards C and D of the hospital is occupied by the victims of the April 24 tragedy, bearing testimony to the greed and callousness of some factory and building owners.

All around the room in these wards, wounded workers lay bandaged or amputated. Some will never walk again normally.  read more.

daily star bd

* 78 bodies of Savar collapse victims to be buried today:

Seventy-eight unclaimed bodies retrieved from the ruins of the collapsed eight-story Rana Plaza at suburb Savar will be buried today in the city’s Jurain Graveyard.

“A total of 76 bodies retrieved from the collapse of Savar building will be buried in Jurain Graveyard today, ” Sarwar Jahan, deputy director (service) of Anjuman-e-Mufidul Islam told BSS today.

“Thirty-four of the corpses, which were received 34 bodied from Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, will be buried within a hour,” he said adding that the bodies which have been kept at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital will be buried later.

read more.& read more.

BSS 

* Rana Plaza survivors feel deceived:

Hundreds of apparel workers who used to work at the readymade garment (RMG) factories housed in the now-ruined Rana Plaza are feeling deceived as they see no sign of getting their unpaid wages and overtime bills.

Standing in queues from morning to evening every day at the practice ground since Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) started paying the wages, most of the workers found out that they were not on the list of those who are to be paid.

“It’s a problematic and incomplete list. You see most of the workers are not finding their names in it,” said Muslima Khatun, a worker, on Friday.

Muslima turned absolutely fidgety after her three days’ efforts to get the dues went in vain. “They (???)

Chairman of the BGMEA Standing Committee for Labour, Education and Welfare Abdul Ahad Ansari told UNB: “We have a list of 3617 workers – dead and alive – who used to work in the factories of Rana Plaza. I think it’s almost a complete list. We can expect only 20-50 more entries in it.”

read more.  & read more.  & read more. & read more.

  logo

* Primark to compensate Savar victims under NGO scale:

British retailer Primark will pay compensation to the victims of the Savar building collapse as per a framework recognized by aid organizations, unions and trade associations.

Earlier, the British company, whose clothes were made in the collapsed building, said it would compensate workers who had been making its clothes and their families.

A recognised framework for paying compensation already exists, having been developed by trade unions and trade associations to deal with situations such as this.  This framework has been accepted by leading NGOs.

read more. & read more.& read more.

banglanews24 Logo  BSS daily star bd

20130512

* Death toll rises to 1121:

The death toll from the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar reached 1,121 by 10:00pm on Saturday as the rescue job ran to the 18th day with 67 more bodies being pulled out between midnight past Friday and Saturday evening.

The rescuers, who reached the ground floor on Saturday, were hoping to wrap up the rescue job on May 15, officials told New Age.

‘We will wrap up the rescue job when we will not find any bodies inside the debris after searching the entire wreckage,’ Major General Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, the chief coordinator of the rescue operation, at a briefing at Savar said.

Executive magistrate Shahed Iqbal at the district administration control room said that 1,109 bodies had so far been recovered from the rubble of Rana Plaza which collapsed in the morning on April 24. The eight-storey building housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank.

read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

  banglanews24 Logo  BSS   bdnews24 daily star bd

* No return to ‘happy’ life:

Life was a losing battle for Reshma but finally it showed some sympathy towards her after Rana Plaza in Savar collapsed along with her.

Reshma, from Ghoraghat of Dinajpur, lost her father at the age of three. She married someone who she had chosen to be with for the rest of her life around two years ago but the marriage did not last. She had to get separated in the face of continuous torture for dowry.

Family members, former colleagues and her house owner yesterday revealed her sad story to The Daily Star as she was undergoing treatment at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Savar outside Dhaka.

Reshma is the youngest among five siblings and was brought up by her mother, said Reshma’s cousin Ambia Khatun.

Reshma’s sister Asma, who is a garment worker, brought her to Savar around two and a half years ago and helped her find a job in a textile mills there.

Within a few months, Reshma got into a relationship with Abdur Razzak, a garment worker, who used to reside with the sisters in a sublet accommodation.  Going against the family she married Razzak, said Asma.

Razzak used to torture Reshma regularly in their rented house on Savar Bazar Road, said Hazera Begum, the owner of the house,

Reshma had come to the mills several times, bearing marks of torture and without having breakfast, said Abu Hanif, a former colleague and neighbour of Reshma, standing in front of CMH. read more.

daily star bd

* Many victims’ not inlcuded in BGMEA list:

Hundreds of apparel workers who used to work at the readymade garment (RMG) factories housed in the now-ruined Rana Plaza are feeling deceived as they see no sign of getting their unpaid wages and overtime bills.

Standing in queues from morning to evening every day at the practice ground since Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) started paying the wages, most of the workers found out that they were not on the list of those who are to be paid.

“It’s a problematic and incomplete list. You see most of the workers are not finding their names in it,” said Muslima Khatun, a worker, on Friday. Muslima turned absolutely fidgety after her three days’ efforts to get the dues went in vain.

“They Chairman of the BGMEA Standing Committee for Labour, Education and Welfare Abdul Ahad Ansari told UNB: “We’ve a list of 3617 workers – dead and alive – who used to work in the factories of Rana Plaza. I think it’s almost a complete list. We can expect only 20-50 more entries in it.” read more.

Logo

20130513

Protest demanding Rana’s capital punishment – Several RMG units in Ashulia suspend production:

A number of readymade garment factories in Ashulia industrial belt, on the outskirts of the capital, suspended their production for Sunday in the face of workers’ unrest.

Hundreds of RMG workers staged demonstration at Jamgara area of Ashulia for nearly two hours demanding capital punishment to Sohel Rana, owner of the building that collapsed on April 24, trapping several thousand people, mostly garment workers, inside it. The death toll from the Savar building collapse reached 1,119 till Sunday morning.

The workers were also demonstrating for their salary hike.

The owners of a number of RMG factories in Ashulia have suspended production for today (Sunday) as workers continue their demonstration, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).Hundreds of workers of different readymade garment factories came out of their units in Jamgara area and staged demonstration for nearly two hours from 9:00am, said Shyamol Kumar Mukherjee, additional superintendent of police in Dhaka.  read more.

daily star bd

* Death toll rises to 1126:

The death toll from the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar reached 1,126 by 8:00pm on Sunday as the rescue job ran to the 19th day with only three bodies being pulled out between midnight past Saturday and Sunday evening.

Rescuers, meanwhile, on the day searched the major portion of the basement and continued with their final search of bodies to wrap up the operation as soon as possible, the officials said.

The rescuers estimated there could hardly be more than 10 more bodies still buried under the rubble.

Additional number of excavators and bulldozers were working to remove

the slabs from the basement where a number of vehicles were also buried in the debris, rescuers said.

read more. read more. & read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more.

   banglanews24 Logo bdnews24 BSS  newstodayBD 

* A few expected left:

Rescue reaches final stage

The possibility of finding more bodies under the wreckage of the ill-fated Rana Plaza narrows, as the rescue operation enters the final stage.

Brig Gen Azmal Kabir, commander of 14 independent engineer brigade at Dhaka cantonment, told The Daily Star yesterday that the rescue operation had entered the final stage with the rescuers reaching the basement.

“The front side of the basement is waterlogged. Once we remove the water, we will be able to clearly see whether any body is still trapped in the basement. I hope it will not take much time to finish the job,” he said.

Three more bodies were pulled out of the debris yesterday, the 19th day into the building collapse in Savar, raising the death toll to 1,120.

Many of the bodies had decomposed beyond recognition, as those had remained trapped under the wreckage for days. At least 234 unidentified bodies have been buried so far at Jurain graveyard in the capital.  read more.

daily star bd

* Call for memorial at Rana Plaza site:

Survivors, families of the people who died in the Rana Plaza building collapse and labour leaders demanded that the government should set up a memorial at the collapse site to commemorate the disaster, which has so far left more than 1,100 people dead.

Labour leaders and others feared that the land would be reoccupied for other purposes after the rescue operation was wrapped up.

‘No business establishment should be built on the

land. A memorial should be set up in commemoration of the disaster,’ Sufia Khatun, mother of Anika Khatun of Kushtia who died in the incident, told New Age on Sunday.

read more.

* Ode to Savar bravehearts:

They braved the odds. At a time when confusion was all around, they came forward to show their sense of humanity. Risking life, they took up the daunting task of finding the survivors and the dead and went deep into the dark of the rubble.

“When I entered the building for the first time around four hours after its collapse [on April 24], it was like entering a grave,” said a Red Crescent Youth volunteer Abyed Hossain, who has been participating in the rescue operation since the beginning.

“I felt no longer alive as many dead bodies were lying around me. Moreover, shouting of hundreds of trapped people made the place creepy.”

Abyed, student of a private college, added, “All the time I thought that it might be the final moment of my life, but I tried to keep patience and bolster courage thinking that I am working for saving lives and the almighty will always bless me.”

Mohammad Ali, a fireman of Savar fire station, who rescued over a hundred people alive, said, “During my rescue activities, I saw many trapped in concrete materials, but it was not possible to rescue all of them. Still my heart cries for those who were alive but could not be rescued.”  read more.

daily star bd

* Physical endurance at its extreme:

The worst garments factory disaster at Savar has taken away the largest number of lives and along with this the belief in a section of people who have suddenly grown rich out of all proportions.

But then tragedies of even cataclysmic proportion return one or two precious things back. In the Savar tragedy case, fellow feeling and the readiness to help the victims, rather unsolicited, were on ample display. Two such volunteers even laid down their lives for the cause of the humanitarian service there. Of them one man named Ejajuddin Chowdhury alias Kaikobad stands tall like the mythical Prometheus who stole fire from heaven incurring the wrath of Zeus, ancient Greek God. For his transgression, he was subjected to eternal punishment. Chained to a rock, his liver grown anew would be eaten each day by an eagle, emblem of Zeus.

Now emerges a girl named Reshma whose amazing survival of her ordeal for 17 long days highlights the limit of human endurance. In the history of similar building or house collapse, a Pakistani woman has a record of survival for 63 days in her kitchen where he was trapped following a tremor and a Haitian survived 27 days under the rubble after the 2010 Haiti tremor. Reshma was lucky to have some water and the space where she was trapped had supply of some air and light, however negligible those may be. Yet there is no way of looking down upon her heroic struggle. It needs courage of superhuman proportion to survive this long in a dungeon like place where she had been trapped.  read more.

20130514

* Protest demanding wages rise – Workers go berserk in Savar:

Readymade garments workers of Ashulia observed work abstention and staged demonstration on Monday morning demanding pay rise and trial of labour killings.

Earlier in the morning, the workers of Ha-Meem group alleged that a labour called Parul was killed and hanged in the toilet to stage the incident as suicide.

In addition to the killing, labourers demanded Tk 8000 (around 92 US $) monthly minimum wages.

read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo daily star bd

* Make list of missing victims: HC:

The High Court (HC) on Monday directed the government to submit a list of victims who still remain missing following the collapse of Rana Plaza.

The government will have to prepare the list on the basic of identity cards, photos, appointment letters and other relevant documents collected from their near and dear ones.

The HC passed the order during hearing of a rule issued on April 30 following the collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar.

The nine-storey Rana Plaza housing five garment factories collapsed on April 24, trapping several thousand people mostly garment workers inside it.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd  banglanews24 Logo   newstodayBD

* Army plans to wrap up salvage operation as collapse toll reached 1127  :

The Army apparently planned to wrap up their 20 days of salvage campaign as toll from Bangladesh’s worst ever industrial disaster stood at 1127 since an eight-story building collapsed at suburban Savar.

“We have reached the fag end of our salvage operations here,” an army spokesman at the collapse site told newsmen.

He added that commander of the army-led salvage campaign Major General Chowdhury Hassan Sarwardy was expected to call a press conference at the site of the collapsed building which housed five garment factories, 300 shops and a branch of a private bank.

The spokesman’s comments came as a senior army officer familiar with the rescue operations said they nearly wrapped up searches for more bodies under the concrete ruins after rescuers only found few limbs of human corpses in the past two days.

read more. &   read more.

BSS  daily star bd

 * Reshma describes her ordeal:

Reshma, a girl who survived the tragic building collapse and was rescued after being trapped inside the debris for 17 days, talks to the reporters at a military hospital on Savar on Monday.

Three days after her miraculous rescue, Reshma on Monday described the ordeal she suffered for 17 days since the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar.

In her first formal appearance before the media, the girl said, “I never dreamt that I could come out of the rubble. I always called the Almighty Allah. And Allah has saved me.”

Reshma was rescued on Friday afternoon from under the rubble of the nine-story building that caved in on April 24, trapping an unknown number of people inside.

read & see more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd logo banglanews24 Logo

* Rana Plaza rescue operation ends- Death toll stands at 1,127:

Death toll now 1127; 834 handed over, 176 unidentified

No body was recovered from the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza on Monday as the rescue operation was declared finished on the 20th day of the operation.

Addressing a press briefing at the Army control room set up at the spot, General Officer Commanding of the 9th Infantry Division Maj Gen Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardi, who was in charge of coordinating the rescue operation, said they would hand over the responsibility of the site to the district administration at 6 am on Tuesday.

Sources at the control room said the death toll from the disastrous building collapse stood at 1,127.

read more. & read more. & read more.

  daily star bd

* 33 Rana Plaza victims buried unidentified at Jurain:

Thirty-three bodies of the victims of the collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar were buried as ‘unclaimed’ at Jurain graveyard in the capital on Monday.

The 33 were among the bodies recovered from eight-storey Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24 leaving more than 1,100, mostly garment workers, killed.

Dhaka district administration handed over the 33 unidentified bodies from Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue to Anjuman-e-Mufidul Islam for burial.

Officials said that the DNA samples of the victims were collected and preserved to facilitate their identification for the benefit of families desperately looking for the bodies.

Anjuman deputy director Sarwar Jahan told New Age that more unidentified bodies were kept at Mitford Hospital morgue and they might bury those unclaimed bodies on today.

Sarwar said that 267 unidentified bodies of the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster were buried at Jurain till Monday.  to read.

* Savar tragedy: accident or murder? :

Shanhina Akhter, whose eventually unsuccessful 110-hour struggle to stay alive under the debris has made her one of the public faces of the Rana Plaza collapse at Savar, the worst-ever industrial disaster in Bangladesh.

Rescuers said that, till her death, the 30-year-old garments worker had never abandoned the hope of getting out alive and reuniting with her toddler son. She fought on in the sweltering heat and suffocating stench of corpses trapped in their concrete tomb.

On April 29, into the fifth day of the collapse of the eight-storey structure, her valiant struggle ended in flames; fire broke out when a rescue worker tried to cut through iron rods with a mechanical cutter. ‘I have never seen anyone so brave in my whole life,’ said one of the rescue workers. He could not control his tears as he and other fire-fighters pulled Shahina’s dead body out of the rubble. read more.

20130515

* Clean Clothes Campaign estimates $ 71m compensation for Rana Plaza victims:

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), the garment industry’s largest alliance of labour union and non-government organizations, estimated an amount more than US$ 71 million as compensation for the Ranan Plaza victims.

With the death toll rising to 1,126 on the evening of the May 12, and an estimated 1650 workers admitted to hospital following the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24, the estimated long term compensation will be more than 54 million Euros (US$ 71 million), said the Netherlands based CCC. This calculation is based on ILO standards and an established formula developed following previous fire and safety accidents in Bangladesh, developed by Bangladeshi and international trade unions, the CCC said in its website.

The figure includes compensation for pain and suffering, as well as long-term loss of earnings for families of deceased workers, and injured workers not able to return to work. It does not include medical costs for the physically injured workers, psychological support for all workers or their families involved in the collapse or payment of wages and legal severance payments to the Rana Plaza workers who are all now left unemployed.

read more. & read more. & read more.

logo

* Bangladesh compensation fund sought:

Activists are pressing some Western retailers to contribute more than $70 million to a fund that would compensate victims of the collapse of an illegally constructed Bangladesh factory last month, killing more than a 1,100 garment workers and leaving thousands of others injured or unemployed.

Nearly three weeks after a factory collapse killed more than 1,100 people, the world’s biggest clothing companies are committing to safety standards that could play a key role in policing the country’s main industry.

Several weeks into clean-up efforts at the site of the collapsed factory in Bangladesh, many were still searching for missing family members. The high death toll from the collapse of Rana Plaza calls for a unified clearinghouse that can collect payments from brands and maintain a transparent database of injured and dead workers, said Tessel Pauli of the Amsterdam-based Clean Clothes Campaign, which is among the groups working to create the fund. read more.

banglanews24 Logo

* More than 54 million euros compensation demand for victims Rana Plaza:

With the death toll rising to 1126 on the evening of the 12th of May, and an estimated 1650 workers admitted to hospital following the Rana Plaza collapse on 24th of April, the estimated long term compensation will be more than 54 million Euros (71 million USD). This calculation is based on ILO standards and an established formula developed following previous fire and safety accidents in Bangladesh, developed by Bangladeshi and international trade unions.

The figure includes compensation for pain and suffering, as well as long-term loss of earnings for families of deceased workers, and injured workers not able to return to work. It does not include medical costs for the physically injured workers, psychological support for all workers or their families involved in the collapse or payment of wages and legal severance payments to the Rana Plaza workers who are all now left unemployed. Reports from the ground indicate that many workers and families are facing desperate situations as they are unable to pay medical bills, rent and daily expenses.

Tessel Pauli of the CCC says, “The families and injured workers need to know that their immediate and longer term rights to compensation will be assured, and therefore brands that have had production at Rana Plaza need to step forward immediately and put plans for paying compensation into place”.

read more.

Site

* PM receives more donations for Savar victims:

More organisations and individuals provided financial assistance to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund on Tuesday to assist the families of those killed and injured in the tragic Rana Plaza collapse at Savar on April 24.

Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters that Sheikh Hasina received cheques of donation in her office.

The organisations and individuals that provided cheques to the Prime Minister include Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB), BADC, Bangladesh Police Welfare Trust, Fisheries and Livestock Ministry, AMTOB and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, PKSF, Bay Footwear Limited, Walton Hi-tech Industries Limited, BIAM Foundation School and College, Bangabandhu Parishad Central Committee, Privatisation Commission, RDRS Bangladesh, Adv Anwarul Islam of Rangpur Awami League and housewives of Eskaton Garden Officers Quarter.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

   BSS BSS bdnews24

* Missing victims’ relatives stage protest:

The relatives of missing victims of Rana Plaza tragedy on Tuesday staged demonstration on the ruined site demanding capital punishment to the building owner.

RanaPlaza housing several garment factories collapsed on April 24 after owners Sohel Rana forced several thousand workers to work there even after cracks had developed on some pillars and floors the day before.

Around 40 to 50 relatives holding photos of their missing near and dear ones were seen chanting slogans, “Hang Rana, hang Rana,” reported our correspondent from the scene.

They also demonstrated demanding body of their dear ones who remain missing since the collapse of the building.  read more.

daily star bd

* The wait not over yet as Rana Plaza lies in ruins:

The families of the workers feared missing and their fellows on Tuesday staged demonstrations at the site of the collapsed Rana Plaza in Savar, demanding the bodies as weary rescuers left the site after 20 days of relentless operation.

The peaceful protesters chanting ‘return the missing bodies’ also demanded highest punishment of the people responsible for the deadly building collapse.

The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on the morning of April 24.

The demonstrations took place minutes before a special prayer was offered near the collapse site after the army-led search and rescue operation was formally declared closed on Monday after 20 days of gigantic efforts that saw 1,127 bodies recovered from the rubble.

The demonstrators holding posters with photos, names and addresses of missing people were shouting ‘why our brothers were killed, why our sisters were killed, we want justice.’  read more.

* 286 unclaimed bodies buried at Jurain:

Nineteen more bodies of the victims in the collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar who could not be identified were buried at Jurain graveyard in the capital on Tuesday.

With the 19, the number of unidentified bodies of the Rana Plaza victims buried at the graveyard reached at 286, said Anjuman-e-Mafidul Islam deputy director Sarwar Jahan.

On Tuesday morning, Dhaka district administration executive magistrate Sara Sadia Taznin handed over the 19 bodies from Mitford Hospital morgue to Anjuman.

She told New Age that DNA samples of the bodies were preserved so that their identity could be established through DNA tests if anyone comes claiming relationship with them.

Sarwar said that the graves were numbered according to the DNA samples of the victims for possible identification by the relations later.

read more.

* Hundreds join prayer as Bangladesh wraps up salvage campaign:

Hundreds of people joined a special prayer along with rescuers as Bangladesh wrapped up its biggest salvage campaign launched after its worst ever industrial disaster when an eight- story building collapsed at suburban Savar.

Government leaders and officials joined the prayers, seeking eternal blessings for the victims as 1,127 people were known to have died in the collapse while rescuers said at least 176 people were still missing after 20 days of search operations when army troops, fire fighters and ordinary volunteers rescued 2,444 people alive.

“The rescue operations for bodies and survivors are declared ended,” commander of the salvage campaign Major General Chowdhury Hassan Sarwardy earlier announced at the site while a statement by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina mourning the deaths and thanking the rescuers was read out ahead of the prayer.

read more. & read more. & read more.

BSS    logo

* Rana Plaza changed it all:

It was only a one-year plan of Shamsul Alam to work at a readymade garment (RMG) factory and then to concentrate on his graduation at a local college, but the Rana Plaza collapse changed it all.

“It has shattered my dreams. I wanted to save money from my income so as to be able to buy the books for my graduation courses,” said Shamsul Alam, who joined New Wave Style, housed in Rana Plaza, just after he passed the higher secondary certificate (HSC) exam from Rajshahi board in 2012.

Barely two months back, Shamsul went to his village home in Naogaon. He stayed there for four days and completed his admission for the graduation at a local college.

“Now I doubt whether I’ll be able to stand on my feet again. How hard it will be if I have to pass the rest of my life lying on a bed like this,” he murmured as he was lying like a paralysed man on a bed at the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation (Nitor) on Tuesday. read more.

* Who cares about relatives of the missing? :

Although the rescue operation at the Rana Plaza tragedy site officially ended on Monday with a firm claim by army officials that no dead body is left there, the relatives of the missing garment workers are still hanging around for the remains of their near and dear ones.

“I’m here in search of my missing daughter for 20 days. I still haven’t found her. Now I don’t need any sympathy from anyone,” burst out Rahman Sheikh in front of Rana Plaza, just a few minutes after a special prayer (Milad) arranged by the army and the district administration on Tuesday afternoon.

“Even this prayer has given me no peace. They’ve arranged the prayer and now they’re getting away. No one is here to tell us what to do,” he added.

read more.

* Govt to acquire Rana Plaza land:

To be used for rehabilitation of victim families

20130515 DAILYSTAR2

On this soil at Savar stood the nine-storey Rana Plaza, which came crashing down three weeks ago, causing heavy casualties. The site looks like plain land yesterday, completely devoid of any life. Photo: Rashed Shumon

The government will acquire the land of the collapsed Rana Plaza, which came crashing down on April 24, and take up a long-term plan to rehabilitate the victims’ family members there.

Jahangir Kabir Nanak, state minister for local government, made these comments while talking to reporters at the collapsed Rana Plaza site after a prayer service for the victims.

Earlier in the day, the army turned control of the site over to the district administration a day after it ended a nearly three-week search for bodies among the rubble.

Declaring the site a reserved zone, the district administration yesterday put up a barbed-wire fence around it.

read more. & read more.

daily star bd

* Rana has 23 bank accounts:

The Anti-Corruption Commission has found 23 bank accounts used by Mohammed Sohel Rana, the owner of multi-storeyed Rana Plaza that had collapsed in Savar last month.

But the authorities were yet to ascertain how much money he had in all these accounts, said ACC’s Public Relations Officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya.

The national anti-graft agency began an investigation soon after the collapse of the building following allegations that Rana had amassed wealth through corrupt means.

read more. & read more.

bdnews24 

* Rana’s father remanded again:

Abdul Khalek, father of Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building in Savar, was placed on a four-day fresh remand on Tuesday afternoon in connection with the disaster.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Wasim Sheikh in Dhaka granted his remand in a case filed over the deaths and damages in the April 24 tragedy.

On April 30, he was placed on a 13-day remand in two cases including the above mentioned one.  read more.

daily star bd

* End of rescue operation does not mean closure of Savar tragedy:

While the army-led search and rescue operation at the collapsed Rana Plaza was formally declared over on Monday, with 1,115 dead bodies recovered and 2,438 people pulled out alive, 12 of whom died later in hospitals, from the rubbles in 20 days since April 24, the greatest ever industrial tragedy in Bangladesh, if not the world, is farthest from a closure, not least because, according to a report published in New Age on Tuesday, at least 98 people remain unaccounted for and 293 dead bodies unidentified, including 234 already buried after their DNA samples had been collected.

The tragedy at Savar, as we have commented in these columns, has not only highlighted the murderous greed of the few but also the empathy and fellow-feeling of the many.

While the army has more or less efficiently and effectively coordinated the operation, with significant input from members of the fire service and civil defence department, security and law enforcement agencies, it is the ordinary people, mostly belonging to the poor and marginalised sections of society, who had spearheaded search and rescue in the first phase until the deployment of heavy equipment.

Without any protective gears and equipped with dogged determination, relentless courage and, most importantly, unending fellow-feeling, they defied all odds, put their life on the line and rescued many from the jaws of death. In the process, at least two persons died; they are martyrs, indeed.

read more.

* Savar tragedy and a few questions:

It was on April 24 that Rana Plaza collapsed at Savar, killing more than 1,100 and injuring nearly 2,500 people.

The building housed shops centre, a bank, garment factories and other commercial offices. It is estimated that on an average day near about 4,000 people used to work in the building. The latest available information at the time of writing this article on May 12 evening is that 1,117 dead bodies have been recovered and 2,438 have been rescued alive.

Quite a few are still not accounted for. Amongst the rescued, perhaps a few more may have succumbed to their injuries and over hundred have become permanently disabled. This makes the incident the worst industrial tragedy only second to the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India. We express our profound grief and sorrow for the loss of lives; and our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. We also pray for the recovery of the injured.

read more.

20130516

20130515 INDUSTRYALLToday (15th)  the NGWF held a  solidarity rally for the victims and families of the Ranaplaza collapse.

IndustriALL

* Garment workers demand punishment of people responsible for Rana Plaza collapse:

Leaders of National Garment Workers Federation, a garment workers’ rights body, at a rally in the capital on Wednesday demanded exemplary punishments of people responsible for the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar on April 24.

At least 1,127 people, most of them garment workers, were killed in the collapse of the jerry-built building.

The NGWF organised the rally in front of the National Press Club to express solidarity and sympathy for the workers killed and wounded in the building collapse.

Amirul Haque Amin, president of the federation who chaired the rally, demanded exemplary punishment of the owner of the plaza Sohel Rana and the owners of the garment factories situated in the building. to read.

 * Relatives of missing workers still gather:

People still continued to gather at different places in Savar till Wednesday evening in search of their relatives who were feared missing in the collapse of Rana Plaza even after the rescue operation was officially called off on Monday.

The relatives were seen roaming around the office of Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Adhar Chandra High School, Thana Stand and near the site of the collapsed building.

The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed on the morning of April 24.

The Savar upazila authorities, meanwhile, started listing the names of missing people.

‘We are preparing a fresh list of missing people,’ an official told New Age at the control room set up at the UNO office.

read more.

* Traumatised survivors of factory collapse vow to leave city in drove:

A group of fortunate survivors of the Savar tragedy, having traumatised, have expressed their reservation about continuing their jobs in the readymade garment (RMG) sector.

The survivors have decided to go back to their homes and do farming work in the countryside.

“I am determined not to seek job in the city any more. I’ll request others to quit industrial job,” the 28-year-old Enamul Haque, , said.

The agony-stricken survivor of northern Gaibandha district revealed on Monday his personal decision on the sidelines of a donation programme at Dhaka University.

Business Studies Faculty of Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students organised the programme where 51 survivors of the building collapse received swing machines, rickshaws, vans and cash worth Tk0.5 million.

read more.

* Plan for mental treatment to Savar victims:

The government is going to take a two-year plan to ensure psychological treatment of the Savar building collapse survivors, according to Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque.

He said the survivors would need ‘psycho-social’ treatment to return to their normal life.

The World Health Organisation would assist the government in this regard, he said adding that psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers would work ‘concertedly’ to manage their post-traumatic disorder.  read more.

bdnews24

* German support for industry mishap victims:

The Germany has pledged support to reintegrate Savar victims in jobs

According to a media release, German government as part of its engagement in Bangladesh’s garment sector has committed to inject 2.5 million Euro for “Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry” to help victims of industry mishaps.

The German Development Organisation (GIZ) and the Ministry of Commerce would implement the project that will also support other garment workers who suffered disabilities in different industrial accidents.

read more. & read more. & read more.

bdnews24  BSS

* Sohel Rana on 13-day fresh remand:

Two Dhaka courts on Wednesday placed Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building Rana Plaza, on a 13-day fresh remand for police interrogation in three cases.

Senior judicial magistrates Tajul Islam and Toyebul Hasan granted the remand when police produced him before the courts.

After the hearing, the courts granted six days remand for arms carrying case, five days for killing case and two days over the drug related case.

In his speech before the court, Sohel Rana claimed himself as innocent as there was no lawyer for him.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

banglanews24 Logo  daily star bd    BSS

* Savar accused to be tried under Penal Code Sections 304, 304(A):

The chief of an inquiry committee and additional secretary of the home ministry, Mainuddin Khandakar, said that those responsible for the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar, are likely to tried under Sections 304 and 304 (A) of the Penal Code.

Talking to this correspondent at his secretariat office, on Wednesday, Khandakar said that the owner of the nine-stored building, Sohel Rana, a local leader of the ruling Awami League, is very much responsible for the ‘Savar Tragedy’, which claimed 1,127 lives and left thousands injured. Being exceedingly greedy, Rana was only interested in earning money, he added.

Sohel Rana, who built the high-rise building after grabbing land from Rabindra Nath Sarkar, who, incidentally, belongs to the minority Hindu community, should be punished by the authorities concerned, so that no garments manufacturer or building owner commits the same offence in the future, Khandakar said.

read more.

logo

20130517

* The Orphans of Savar:

Around 1200 deaths and 1000 missing are reported over a disaster known as “The Savar Tragedy”, which happened early in the morning of 24 April 2013. A 9 storied building constructed illegally on a land grabbed by a local muscleman collapsed within seconds, with around 4 thousand workers trapped inside it, and tens of thousands of their dependents trapped outside of it.

Apart from the amputated, terminally injured and the traumatized, we have a long term wound which is the greatest challenge for Bangladesh in its coming years. The Orphaned children of the Rana Plaza workers who now have lost their hope of proper meals along with loosing their earning parent.

These were the children for whose very survival their mothers and father agreed to go into the jaws of death in a cracked and crumbling building. The owners do not even spare the visibly pregnant, their greed is inspired by those who do not pay regards to the rights of the most important members of the supply chain – those who make the cloth.

childrenranadisaster

Its time the Brands realized that more actions are needed, and an expression of good faith can be signing the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement. Garment is sourced cheapest from Bangladesh right now, and it is vital for the country’s economy. However these workers are no less human than the people who will wear their cloths. They do not ask for too much but a safe workplace so that they can return home to their children to buy them some food.  read more.

RISE Society BD

* “How will we survive?” Testimonies of injured workers of Bangladesh Rana Plaza Collapse:

 

Jasmine Sultana, sewing machine operator, New Wave Style

I am 20 years old. I worked for over a year at New Wave Style on the 6th floor as a sewing machine operator.  I am single and live with my co-worker in this tiny room.  I come from the Jessore District in the south-western part of Bangladesh.

On the 24th of April I was working on the sewing machine.  An hour after starting time, the factory building came crashing in.  Like other colleagues, I was trying to get out using the stairs.  But I fell down. An iron bar hit my back hard.  I could not move.  I fell in the dark.

I was in the pitch dark for nine hours without water and food.  Some of my co-workers were screaming out for help and water.  Volunteers pulled me out of the wreckage at 6.00 p.m. and I was sent to the Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar for treatment.

The iron bar that hit my back broke the tissue and muscle.  I was released from the hospital on April 30, but I still can’t walk straight as I feel pain in my back. I need further medical care.  My parents live in the countryside.  I have one sister who also works in a garment factory. I wonder if I will be able to lead a normal life.

read more.

IGLHR

* Victims demand speedy disposal of cases:

Survivors, families of the people killed in the Rana Plaza collapse and labour leaders on Thursday demanded that the government should ensure speedy disposal of the cases filed in connection with the world’s deadliest building collapse that left 1,127 people dead, nearly 2,000 injured, and many more missing.

They expressed the fear that trial of the cases would be delayed and justice

denied as the general elections were approaching.

‘I even want the man who had asked the workers to stay in the factory to be tried,’ Sharif Uddin, father of Shantona Akhter of Dinajpur who had died in the incident, told New Age.

The nine-storey Rana Plaza owned by local Juba League leader Sohel Rana that housed five garment factories, a shopping mall, and a bank branch collapsed on the morning of April 24. Three cases filed with a court and the Savar police are now under investigation while 11 other cases were lodged with the labour court, officials said.  read more.

* Families of 100 Savar victims get cheques from PM in first phase:

The Prime Minister today in the first phase has disbursed cheques of financial assistance to the families of 100 garment workers died in building collapse incident in Savar on April 24.

The Prime Minister distributed the cheques among 116 family members of 100 victims at a function at her office here today.

In her brief speech on the occasion, the Prime Minister said her government would continue efforts to support the families of the Savar victims.

“I have no word to console the bereaved families. But we will make our continuous efforts to help them so that they don’t live in economic hardship after loosing their earning family members,” the prime minister said.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

BSS   logo  

* Banks’ donation for Rana Plaza victims:

The country’s private banks have recently donated Tk 80 crore for the victims of Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24 killing 1,127 garment workers.

They handed the funds to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund through Bangladesh Association of Banks, a platform of bank owners.

Md Nazrul Islam Mazumder, chairman of the association, presented the amount through a cheque to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a ceremony at her office on Tuesday, the association said in a statement.

All members of the association, including three new banks, contributed to the fund.

read more and see the overview.

daily star bd

20130518

* The Savar Tragedy:

It was on the 24th April 2013 that a building named “Rana Plaza” at Savar near the Bangladesh capital collapsed killing over thousand people and injuring another 2438.

The 9-storied building housed shopping centre, bank, garment factories and other commercial offices. It is estimated that on an average, near about four thousand people used to work in the building. Till May 12 evening, 1117 dead bodies were reported to have recovered and 2438 rescued alive. This makes the incident worst industrial tragedy only second to the Union Carbide disaster in Bhupal, India.

In today’s world of technological advances such an incident should not have happened. It is now for the government to find those responsible for lapses, omissions and negligence and bring them to justice so that it becomes a good deterrent. We failed to stop the incident but we must not fail to learn lessons so that similar disasters never happen again. For this we have to conduct a post-mortem of the incident and analyse them from every possible angle.

read more.

* Lost in despair:

 Adhir Das does not mourn his wife anymore.

He has lost his job. His eldest daughter 18-year-old Arati has been taking treatment at a hospital with her right leg cut off. At home, his three children — Lovely, 9, Lucky, 7, and Akhi, 2, await their father to get food for them.

“God only knows how they [the children] will survive. I don’t know how I will take care of them,” he says while talking to The Daily Star yesterday.

Worries seem to have taken over the loss of his wife Titon Bala Das, a garment worker, who died in the collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar outside Dhaka on April 24.

A construction worker, Adhir, 45, who was working on the rooftop of the nine-storey building that day, narrowly escaped the disaster with minor injuries. He saw his three fellow workers die while another one broke one leg.

Both Adhir’s wife Titon, 40, and daughter Arati worked at New Wave Style on the sixth floor of Rana Plaza. Three days into the crash, he found Titon’s body at Adhar Chandra High School, a kilometre from the building, where the dead were being brought for identification. read more.

daily star bd

* Factory licences given, renewed despite faults:

The chief factory inspector’s office had granted licences to four garment factories at Rana Plaza and renewed those every year since 2008 though the factory floors of the nine-story building were built illegally and the units lacked safety standards.

Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) authorities had also issued fire licences to the factories and renewed those every year.

The high rise at Savar collapsed on April 24 due to structural faults, said eminent civil engineers. Over 1,100 people perished in the collapse, which turned out to be the deadliest man-made industrial disaster in the country’s history.

As per the law, building owner Sohel Rana was supposed to get its design approved by the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha. Though he had approval from Savar Municipality for raising a five-storey structure, he built four stories more and rented out the top floors to garment factories. read more.

daily star bd

20130519

* 12 Savar tragedy victims receive financial support:

Radio Padma, a Rajshahi-based Community Radio, handed over bank cheques worth Taka one lakh to the family members of 12 victims of Savar tragedy at a simple ceremony here today.

Earlier, the authorities of the radio collected money from its listeners and wellwishers in an effort to help the victims and extended support to the seriously wounded persons of Rajshahi region.

Radio Padma Friends Forum organized the cheque-distribution  programme at Master Chef Restaurant where artists and listeners of the radio, family members of the affected families and some  local journalists attended.

read more.

BSS

* Relief for victims of Savar tragedy:

It is good that banks are disbursing funds for the Rana Plaza victims.

The government has already handed over payments to the bereaved families and also requested the banks to cash their checks.

The donations from banks stands Tk 8.0 billion.

What needed now is to arrange prompt payment for the victims. The target should be to complete paying all the victims before this financial year ends. No excuse for delays will be acceptable. The government should form a supervision team consisting of reliable persons to do the job speedily. The disbursement may be done by BGMEA but they need to be strictly monitored by the government so that no one is missed out and deprived under any circumstances. This immediate financial relief should be a matter of top priority. read more.

* NBR to look into bonded warehouse facility for Rana Plaza factories:

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has moved to look into the state of the bonded warehouse facility enjoyed by the owners of five garment factories housed in the collapsed Rana Plaza at Savar.

The building collapsed last month, killing, at least, 1,127 people. The worst-ever tragedy in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector sent a shockwave across the world.

NBR member Md Nasir Uddin, who heads the bonded warehouse facility wing, instructed the bond commissionerate in Dhaka to form a committee to this end. The committee will look into justification of the bonded warehouse facilities that the affected garment factories enjoyed.  read more.

* Bangladesh Seamstress: ‘I Had No Choice but to Go to Work’:

A survivor of the recent factory building collapse in Bangladesh describes the day of the tragedy and the constant pressure to work faster under horrible conditions. Her story provides a glimpse at the difficult and impoverished lives of those who produce inexpensive clothing for the West.

Mushamat Sokina Begum, 27, was at her sewing machine in a fifth-floor factory when the Rana Plaza building where she worked in Savar near the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka collapsed on the morning of April 24 , killing over 1,000 people. Begum was pulled from the rubble three hours later with an injured leg. She spoke to SPIEGEL ONLINE editor Hasnain Kazim about her hopes for her future and those of her two children.

I don’t really want to start working again. Most people here feel the same way. We’re afraid. I just heard about another factory where there are cracks in the walls. And I know of another unsound building that’s also said to belong to Mohammed Sohel Rana (the owner of the Rana Plaza building). Last week there was another factory fire and people died. Things like this happen constantly. I believe God wants to punish us for something. I just don’t know what yet.

read more.

SPIEGEL ONLINE

20130520

* ‘Rana Plaza land for the victims’:

A government-commissioned investigation committee will recommend confiscation of the land the collapsed Sohel Rana was built on and provide financial support to the families of the dead and injured workers.

 

The panel will also propose the maximum penalty of life or fine or both for the building owner Mohammed Sohel Rana and the owners of five readymade garment factories housed in the nine-storey commercial building as per the Section 304 of the Bangladesh Penal Code.

read more. & read more. & read more.

bdnews24  newstodayBD

* Double blow for a mother:

For Hazera Khatun, the news of the Rana Plaza collapse in Savar meant making urgent arrangements to go there, from her home in Kotchadpur village in Jhenidah. 

Hazera’s daughter Maya Rani worked in the building.  With no news of her daughter, Hazera endured the agonising wait at Adhar Chandra High School, which ended after twelve days, with the return of her daughter’s body.

But Hazera had fears not only for her daughter, but also for her two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter Rouza, who lived with her mother in a slum.

“After Rani was abandoned by her husband six months ago, she fled to Dhaka with her daughter and joined the garment factory,” said Hazera. “She told me over the phone that she paid someone in the slum Tk 500 per month to look after Rouza while she worked,” Hazera said in tears.

The only clue Hazera had about the location of her daughter’s accommodation was that it cost Rani Tk 7 to get to work by bus.

Having buried her daughter at her Roudrapur village, Hazera, an estranged housewife herself for ten years, worked for a few days in a restaurant kitchen and returned to Dhaka with her small savings to look for Rouza, the only link between her and her dead daughter. read more.

daily star bd

* Families of the missing in financial crisis:

Relatives of missing workers of the garment units housed in Rana Plaza are going through an acute financial crisis as they have yet not received any help since the April 24 deadly building collapse.

Many voluntary organisations had provided meals and shelters to them for a few days after the collapse but for the past few days there has been no voluntary activity at the site.

The family members of the missing apparel workers coming from across the country are still waiting at Savar clinging to the hope of getting the body of their near and dear ones.

On Saturday, rickshaw puller Dukhu Miah, 40, was seen waiting with his children Sagarika and Sagor for the body of his wife Zahanara, 32. He has been looking here and there for the past 24 days for his missing wife.

He said, ‘I have done all that the management told me to do but I am still uncertain whether I will get the remains of my wife.’  read more.

* Rana remanded again:

Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building in Savar, has been placed on a five-day fresh remand in a case filed for building code violation.

At least 1,127 people have died and hundreds sustained injuries after the nine-story Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24 near the capital.

On Monday, a court of Senior Judicial Magistrate in Dhaka granted the remand after the Detective Branch of Police produced Rana before the court.

Following the country’s worst industrial disaster, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakhya (Rajuk) filed the case accusing several people including Rana.

read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

daily star bd logo    banglanews24 Logo newstodayBD

20130522

* Labour leaders sit in in Jurain graveyard:

The Garments Workers’ Action Council held a sit-in in the Jurain graveyard on Tuesday, demanding exemplary punishment of owners of Rana Plaza and the five clothing factories that were housed in the building which collapsed on April 27 leaving more than 1,100 people dead.

Owners of the building and the apparel factories cannot avoid the responsibility for the death of the workers, labour rights activists said at the  sit-in.

Labour leader Rafiqul Islam Pathik demanded an exemplary punishment of the the building owner, Sohel Rana, and the apparel factory owners. He said that the government must ensure he safety of workers at workplace.

Pathik demanded Tk 48 lakh in compensation for each of the workers affected in the building collapse. read more.

* Survivors of Bangladesh Factory Collapse Speak Out:

“It was dark and hot with choking dust all around. The air was filled with the smell of decomposing corpses,” recalled Nasima, a 24-year-old factory worker who spent four days buried under the rubble of an eight-story building that collapsed in a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka last month.

The young woman recounted the terror that she and four fellow female workers experienced as they lay beneath glass and concrete, just “inches” from death. Rescue teams found them sandwiched between the fifth and sixth floors of the massive Rana Plaza that had housed five garment factories.

Nasima told IPS she was “too scared” to remember all the details of those 96 hours. “I saw my colleagues die, just a few yards from me, one after the other.”

Her only indication that they were dead was when she could no longer hear their voices calling out to her in the dark.

Nasima had joined Ether Garments, one of the many companies housed in Rana Plaza, only 20 days before the tragedy, Bangladesh’s worst industrial accident, which killed 1,127 workers according to the latest count. read more.

The Jakarta Globe

20130523

* Bangladeshi volunteers haunted by rescue trauma:

Mamun was hailed a hero for pulling survivors from the ruins of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza factory complex but now he struggles to sleep, haunted by the memory of sawing off a young woman’s hand.

“I had never even touched the hand of a woman before but it was the only way to save her and the others,” said the 22-year-old in an interview ahead of the one-month anniversary of the disaster.

“My hand was soaked in blood by the end and I still can’t get that image out of my head.”

A total of 1,127 people died when the nine-storey building collapsed on the morning of April 24 in Savar, a suburb of the capital Dhaka, making it one of the deadliest industrial disasters of all time.

But the tragedy took its toll on others, including an army of volunteers who rescued hundreds but also encountered unimaginable horrors such as bodies decayed beyond identity. read more.

logo

* Savar survivors need psychological support: experts:

Shahana, 23, could not say anything when she was asked about her physical condition. She was just staring with an expressionless face.

The mega disaster of Savar, collapse of an eight-storied building ‘Rana Plaza’ scathed the right hand of Shahana.

Her colleague, Maruf, got some minor fracture on leg. But when a doctor gave him a clutch to walk he got frightened and started believing that he could not walk anymore.

The doctor assured him that he would be able to walk very soon but Maruf was not convinced.

He started crying thinking of his future. He has just lost his confidence.

Both Shahana and Maruf are not only physically ill but their mental condition is also traumatized, they are emotionally numb and need psychological intervention.

Mental health experts stressed for extending psychological support to the survivors along with better physical treatment for returning them to normal life.

read more.

BSS

* Maimed survivors want limbs replaced as soon as possible:

The survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse, who had to have their limbs amputated after the tragedy, are worried about how and when prosthetic limbs would be attached to their  bodies which they want as soon as possible in order to be rehabilitated.

The maimed survivors are waiting anxiously in hospital beds for the artificial limbs to be attached to their bodies before they are released from the hospitals.

Many such patients were admitted to different hospitals, including Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka, Enam Medical College and Hospital in

Savar and the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation after being rescued from the Rana Plaza rubble.

read more.

 Families of 121 Savar victims get financial help from PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today distributed cheques for financial assistance to the families of 121 garment workers, who were killed in the eight-storey Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar on April 24.

The Prime Minister handed over the cheques among the families of the Savar tragedy victims at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) here this morning.

While distributing cheques, Sheikh Hasina consoled the ill-fated family members of the Savar building collapse victims. A heart-rending scene was created at that time when they (the family members of the victims) burst into tears.

read more.  & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

BSS  logo  

* Shipping Ministry donates Tk 1 cr for Savar victims:

The Ministry of Shipping on Wednesday donated Tk 1 core to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for the victims of Savar building collapse.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan handed over a cheque for the amount to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad.

to read.

* IBC demands $ 71 million in compensation for victims:

Industrial Bangladesh Council on Tuesday demanded $71 million for compensation and long-term rehabilitation of the victims of the deadly collapse of Rana Plaza at Savar.

The IBC urged the government, brands, buyers, BGMEA and factory owners to create the compensation fund immediately.

At a press conference on death of garment workers at Rana Plaza and proposed amendment to the labour law at the National Press Club, the IBC leaders also demanded formation of a judicial inquiry commission and  publishing the complete list of dead and injured workers.

They demanded filing of cases against the owners of Rana Plaza and five garment factories under section 302 of the code of criminal procedure and ensuring capital punishment for the killing of more than one thousand workers.

read more.

* DNA profiling to take more time:

DNA profiling of the 291 unidentified bodies recovered from under the Rana Plaza rubble may take more than three months.

This is because the number of DNA samples collected from the unclaimed bodies and the relatives of those missing is much higher than the lab handles in a year, said Prof Dr Sharif Akhteruzzaman, chief of the DNA profiling lab at Dhaka Medical College (DMC).

“As of Monday, we have bone and tooth samples of 321 highly decomposed bodies and blood samples of 520 family members of the missing people,” he added.

All the unidentified bodies have been buried at Jurain graveyard.

“Relatives of missing people are still coming in to provide blood samples. It is not possible to analyse and compare such a massive amount of data manually,” he added.

On the other hand, many relatives who gave their blood samples during the rescue operation but later found the bodies of their loved ones did not report to the National Forensic DNA Profiling Lab at the DMC.

So the samples collected from the relatives exceed the number of samples collected from the unidentified bodies. read more.

daily star bd

* Probe body recommends lifetime imprisonment to Rana:

The probe body of  Rana Plaza collapse incident on Wednesday submitted report recommending lifetime imprisonment to Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza, for his negligence. Main Uddin Khandaker, head of the body additional secretary, placed the report to Home Secretary today.

He said, “We made 12 recommendations and three special recommendations in this report.”

On April 24, Rana Plaza collapsed in Savar around 3,000 people and at least 1127 people had been found dead.

to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.

& read more. & read more.

logo daily star bd banglanews24 Logo bdnews24 newstodayBD

* Rana’s father on three-day fresh remand:

A Dhaka court on Wednesday placed Abdul Khaleque, the father of collapsed Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, on a fresh three-day remand in a case filed under the Building Construction Act.

Senior Judicial Magistrate Tayebul Hasan passed the order when Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police produced him before his court seeking remand. read more.

* Rana Plaza killings caused by negligence of owners:

The inquiry committee formed by the home ministry has termed the collapse of the nine-storied Rana Plaza, in Savar, “a killing caused by sheer negligence”, and recommended lifetime imprisonment for those responsible for this tragic incident of April 24 that left at least 1,127 garments workers dead. Sohel Rana, the owner of the nine-storied building and a local leader of the ruling Awami League’s youth front, is very much responsible for the ‘Savar Tragedy’, said the report, which was submitted on Wednesday.

The committee also found the owners of the garments factories, housed in Rana Plaza, also responsible for the incident, and recommended their trial under Sections 304 and 34 of the Penal Code.

After submitting the report, the chief of the inquiry committee and additional secretary of the home ministry, Mainuddin Khandakar, told reporters that Rana was exceedingly greedy, and he was only interested in earning money.

The committee recommends sale proceeds of Rana Plaza land to compensate the victims.

He also said that the owners of the five garment factories located in Rana Plaza are also responsible for the tragedy, and they are likely to be tried under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), for insisting that the building was safe to operate, leading to the death of so many workers. read more.

logo

* Rana Plaza was built poorly:

Extremely poor construction materials and violation of construction rules contributed to the collapse of the nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar on April 24, revealed a government probe body yesterday.

The crash was one of the largest industrial building collapses in the world that claimed 1,127 lives and maimed over 2,000 others.

The probe body, formed on April 25 by the home ministry to investigate the reasons behind the collapse, revealed its findings to reporters at the home ministry after handing the report over to Home Secretary CQK Mustak Ahmed.

The investigation body recommended building owner Sohel Rana, his aides, and the authorities of the garment factories be tried under section-304 and 34 (manslaughter) of the penal code. A court could sentence them to life imprisonment if found guilty. read more.

daily star bd

20130524 SEE PART 2

 

 

map of Asia

THE RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE

20130424
* More deaths as building with garment factories collapse in Savar,
Bangladesh
* Rana Plaza collapses, many dead
* 10 dead, over 300 hurt
* Building collapse in Savar- 28 killed; more deaths feared
* 35 dead, over 300 hurt
* Hamid shocked at loss of lives in Savar building collapse
* Building Collapse: PM urges opposition to withdraw hartal
* Scores dead in Bangladesh building collapse
* Bangladesh factory building collapse kills over 70, injures hundreds
* Savar building collapse death toll climbs to 85
* Workers forced to “work”
* No study done regarding building: Rajuk
* Rana Plaza housed 5 garment units: BGMEA
* BGMEA says factories at Savar building kept open ignoring its instruction
* Stern action against those responsible for Savar tragedy
* National mourning day Thursday
* Scores Dead and Injured as Savar Garment Building Collapse – RISE
Society Updates right from the site
* Labels Primark and Mango found
* Blood needed for Savar victims
* Savar victims to get free treatment: Ruhal
* Building code not followed: MKA
* BGMEA blames building owner
* Building collapses killing dozens in Savar
* Dhk district to give Tk 20,000 to each victim family
* Loss of lives in Savar building collapse condoled
* Bangladeshi garment workers crushed to death
* Over 100 Workers Killed in Deadly Garment Factory Collapse in Bangladesh
* Death toll reaches 108
* Tk 55 lakh allocated for Savar victims
* It assures compensation, treatment; 3 bodies formed
* 115 killed in Savar bldg collapse
* It’s RMG sector’s biggest tragedy: BGMEA

20130425
* 100 killed as building collapses at Savar
* Inside the hell* Rising high, illegally
* Help aplenty
* 8-storey bldg collapses at Savar
* Call for arrest of building owner
* Uphill task in hand
* BGMEA forms 3 bodies over Savar tragedy
* Savar tragedy in world media
* Dhaka collapse kills up to 100
* Stern action against violators: BGMEA
* Nation mourns tragedy today
* RMG sector faces severe blow in int’l market for Savar tragedy
* Deaths in Savar building-collapse condoled
* 730 RMG workers killed in fires, factory collapses in 11 years
* Another shock for garment
* Garment workers to announce tougher agitations from April 27 rally
* It’s RMG sector’s biggest tragedy: BGMEA
* 123 killed as building collapses at Savar
* Rescue races against time
* They risk life for humanity
* Disaster: Over 130 killed, 1000 hurt
* It crumbles like a pack of cards
* Rana Plaza had no RAJUK approval
* Murder, not accident
* Global impact feared
* Rana wreckage haunted by life, but time running out for rescuers
* 8-storey building collapses in Savar; over 127 dead
* Savar tragedy likely to concern US
* Factory building collapse in Bangladesh kills 149
* Building Collapse Today Is Another Wake-Up Call for Walmart and OtherMajor Buyers to Act Immediately to Prevent Future Tragedies
* Bangladesh accidents represent a failure of brands to make safety a
priority
* Bangladesh Factory Disaster: Workers Made Clothes for Benetton,
Primark and Dress Barn
* So near yet so far
* RMG workers burst into protest in Dhaka
* RMG workers stage demo in city
* RMG workers clash with cops; cordon off BGMEA building
* Saving life top priority: PM
* 1500 rescued from Savar building debris
* Produce Rana Plaza owner, MDs, chairmen of 6 factories on Apr 30: HC
* Bosses ignored building cracks in Bangladesh factory collapse
* Rana Plaza Collapse: Death toll now stands at 218
* ‘Savar tragedy calls for politicians’ attention’
* Those responsible for Savar tragedy to be brought to justice: MKA
* FBCCI for punishment to perpetrators of Savar tragedy
* Rana Plaza Collapse: Citizens demand punishment of RMG factory owners
* Bangladesh building tragedy down to West’s cost squeeze -NGOs
* ‘Rescue work to continue for 72 hrs’
* Hundreds of Bangladeshi garment workers die
* 24 rescued in a group
* Savar deaths hit 255
* Fire at wrecked Rana Plaza

* MORE NEWS:
* Cracks in RMG unit bldg prompt evacuation
* RMG workers go berserk in Gazipur, Narayanganj
* Cracks in another commercial building in Mohammadpur
* All garments in Ashulia closed
* Workers protest in Dhaka over factory deaths
* Savar tragedy to cast shadow on Bangladesh brand, GSP: Experts
* Savar tragedy to have impact on GSP decision: Mozena
* 5 companies stripped of BGMEA membership
* Savar UNO to face action: MKA
* Labels Unraveled From The Rubbles – Accountability Awaits
* 100 RMG workers were injured in clashes in Savar
* Huge responsibility for Western buyers

20130426
* “Stop the killing, act now”
* Make garment factories in Bangladesh safe
* Govt, BNP trade charges over Savar tragedy
* 40 found alive in single room
* Trapped victims still screaming
* Hopes not over yet
* It breaks every heart
* Back from the death
* Rana Plaza death toll reaches 256; many ‘still alive’
* PM urges all to pray for Savar victims Friday

MORE RELATED NEWS:
* RMG workers protest Savar tragedy
* Task Force must check fitness of RMG factories
* Garment units attacked
* Savar tragedy triggers outcry worldwide
* Savar tragedy set to create adverse impact on RMG, fear industry leaders
* Lack of punishment blamed for such incidents
* 4 factories of top BGMEA leaders found structurally flawed
* Strike in garment industries likely on Sunday
* End killings of apparel workers
* Rana Plaza death toll reaches 272; Many still trapped inside
* RMG units at Rana Plaza listed global brands as buyers
* Playing with people’s lives
* Born under ravages!
* Deadlines more valuable than a thousand lives – new labels excavated
* RMG workers stage demonstration in city
* RMG workers go berserk in capital
* RMG unrest flares up in Gazipur
* Savar Tragedy: rescuer in race against time; death toll 282
* 2 RMG factories torched in Gazipur
* RMG workers agitate in capital, vandalize vehicles
* Angry RMG workers demand death for Rana Plaza owner
* Tragedy shows urgency of worker protections: HRW
* A shock for RMG sector: Muhith
* Toll reaches 292
* Workers protest in Dhaka over factory deaths
* Garments holiday on Saturday
* RMG sector on boil; 8 orgs calls strike in all factories for Sunday
* Sweater factory shut in Narayanganj fearing disaster
* Building beside Rana Plaza also risky
* RMG unrest flares up in Gazipur, authorities shut factories for today
* Tight security in RMG factories
* Inu appreciates rescuers for rescuing 2000 people
* It’s murder: Inu
* Arrest Rana, factory owners: PM
* Rana Plaza Collapse: 72 more rescued alive; death toll hits 304
* RMG units to remain closed Saturday, Sunday: BGMEA, BKMEA
* Rana Plaza Collapse: 10-man body to coordinate rescue operation
* BNP seeks judicial probe in Savar tragedy
* Buyers say sorry!
* Slow rescue operation to save lives: ISPR
* RMG workers erupt into protest over deaths
* Garment workers stage violent protests
* RMG Unrest: BGMEA sits in fresh meeting with ministers, labour leaders
* 659 people still missing in Savar tragedy
* 30 hurt as building beside Rana Plaza ‘shakes’
* Savar tragedy toll hits 314
* Arrest warrants issued against Rana, factory owners: Home Minister
* Savar tragedy a crime against humanity: Suranjit
* Savar building collapse sparks workers’ agitation
* 90 % of buildings in Dhaka’s outskirts unauthorised

20130427
* 25 RMG workers from Mirzapur missing since Savar tragedy
* Frantic search for the missing
* Fight for life on under debris
* Rescued after 45 hrs under rubble
* Help pours in for rescuers
* Brave souls in Savar
* A daunting task
* RMGs for Primark, Lablaw were made in factories at Rana Plaza
* Savar building tragedy and beyond
* Rights groups urge govt to improve safety steps, allow TU formation

* Rana Plaza collapse: Death toll hits 335; many more traced alive
* Rana’s wife, 2 garment factory owners in custody
* Two RMG factory owners & 2 engineers held over Savar tragedy:
* Garment workers block road in Mirpur
* 5 injured as cops fire shots on RMG workers at Rana Plaza
* 50 hurt as RMG workers clash with cops in Savar
* RMG workers, police clash near Savar
* 18-party meeting at 9pm
* Govt to change law for stringent punishment
* Rescuers revise plan for massive interventions
* Major Retailers Rejected Bangladesh Factory Safety Plan
* Bangladesh Disaster: Who Pays the Real Price of Your Shirt?
* Rain hampers rescue operation
* Signs of life linger in the ruins
* Aljazeera report & Arrests over Bangladesh building collapse
* Bam Morcha demands Rana’s arrest by Sunday or hartal on May 2
* Rescue operation satisfactory, heavy equipment would be used later:
Minister
* Tragedy Shows Urgency of Worker Protections
* RMG workers go berserk in Ctg
* Death toll jumps to 346
* 5 injured as cops fire shots on RMG workers at Rana Plaza
* RMG workers run amok in Savar, Gazipur
* Work place accidents of workers rising’
* First among hospitalised victims of Rana Plaza ‘dies at DMCH’
* Govt helped Rana flee: BNP
* Tarpaulin scarcity may hamper rescue mission
* Savar Tragedy: BGMEA yet to form probe body
* BGMEA asks factory owners for building designs
* Govt to despatch 4 medical teams to Savar
* PM’s Relief Fund receives Tk 5mn for Savar victims
* Arrest Sohel Rana, Murad Jong in 24 hrs: BNP
* Country exercises biggest rescue drill after Savar collapse: experts
* 29 people rescued 72 hours after collapse
* Dark underworld of Bangladesh’s clothes industry
* Govt can’t ignore responsibility for Savar tragedy: BBC Sanglap
* BGMEA fund to help Savar victims

20130428
* Savar Tragedy: Death toll now 355; 500 believed still missing
* Hopes fade for finding alive the missing
* Survivors recount their date with death
* Irate RMG workers clash in Dhaka, Chittagong
* Despite disasters, Bangladesh works for retailers
* Crack found in Manikganj RMG factory
* HC verdict overlooked
* Use of substandard building materials main reason: minister
* Relocate garments industries outside Dhaka
* Rana still at large
* Immediate trial of Rana Plaza owner demanded
* Not over yet
* Getting ready for death
* A true hero
* Savar tragedy is a fresh blow to economy: Atiur
* The Economist terms it outcome of corrupt workplace practices
* Apparel workers continue protests
* Garment workers remain restive
* Owners, govt inaction blamed for accidents in RMG sector
* Rana Plaza victims can file cases for damages: Shafique
* Survived at a price- Their limbs amputated, future blurred out
* Pathetic!
* Tragedy exaggerated?
* Different aspects of the ‘Savar’ tragedy : Where do we stand?
* Savar building collapse a man-made disaster

* 1 rescued alive – 9 more survivors spotted
* Savar tragedy: Heavy equipment to be used for conducting rescue drive
* PM visits Orthopedic Hospital to see victims of Savar tagedy
* PM reassures treatment costs for injured victims

* Building owner held in Benapole
* Death toll now 369
* Rescue at Rana Plaza: Civilians on the forefront
* BGMEA Bhaban besieged
* Injured to get TK 10,000 monthly: PM

* Rescuers find little rhythm of life under concrete ruins
* Survivors found under Bangladesh factory ruin
* Death toll rises to 373
* BB asked to freeze building, factory owners’ accounts
* Left parties call off May 2 hartal
* Don’t try to cash in Savar incident: PM
* Rana flown to Dhaka
* Savar Tragedy: Phantom owner Aminul placed on 11-day remand
* Cracks on 4-storey commercial building in Narayanganj
* Rana Plaza Collapse: PM likely to visit Savar to see rescue operation

* Savar tragedy toll hits 371
* Sohel Rana held 4 days after tragedy- faces life term if found guilty
* Man behind 377 deaths captured
* Probe body asks AC (land) to hand in Rana Plaza’s land documents
* Rescuers defer 2nd phase for more survivors
* Muhith stresses conducting surveys on RMG factories
* Workers continue agitation over Savar tragedy
* Workers block Dhaka-Mymensingh highway
* Apparel workers run riot
* Punish Savar UNO, demand RMG workers
* Savar Tragedy: Death toll now 397
* World leaders mourn Savar Tragedy
* Building, garment owners responsible for Savar tragedy: Probe body chief
* 2 Savar Municipality engineers suspended
* Factory watch just farcical
* Factories to remain open from Monday: BGMEA
* ‘Benetton’ clothes at Bangladesh site
* Factories evacuated
* PM’s Relief Fund receives Tk 1.5cr more for Savar victims
* Another Rana Plaza RMG unit owner held
* Corruption caused Rana Plaza to collapse, say JS panel chairs
* Confusion over deaths, missing
* Savar disaster relief needs close monitoring
* BGMEA pledges wages this week
* BGMEA in Ctg seeks security of garment workers
* BGMEA and ‘image crisis’
* RMG makers to sit with buyers today to discuss Savar tragedy
* Owners fear unrest as factories reopen today
* Fire at Rana Plaza tunnel under control

20130429
* The Savar tragedy
* Not accident but murder
* Factory collapse: Murders bred by greed
* Employers’ lack of concern or the government’s apathy?
* 12 hours in grave-like darkness with seven dead fellows
* Hopes fading, flickering
* Waiting for a miracle

* RMG owners blind to amass wealth at the cost of workers
* Citizens call for resistance against greedy owners
* Rana Plaza: 2nd phase of critical rescue operation begins
* ACC forms team to probe Savar building collapse
* PM visits Rana Plaza site
* Twin tragedy
* Insurers won’t pay RMG units of Rana Plaza
* Workers back to work
* BGMEA yet to frame fire safety guideline
* T-shirt tax campaign for Bangladesh victims
* Never again

* No one found dead or alive since mechnised rescue in Savar began Sunday
* Savar Tragedy: BEF demands fair probe, punishment of those responsible
* RMG units reopen
* Frantic effort to locate survivors
* BGB deployed in N’ganj RMG belt
* Another Rana Plaza victim dies at DMCH
* Garment workers’ protest- Factories, vehicles vandalised in Savar, Gazipur
* High-profile ILO team due Wednesday
* Rana’s father held in Moghbazar
* High-powered committee to review safety measures in factories: Cabinet

* Hope dims for Bangladesh survivors
* Hopes for more survivors fading
* Four more bodies found after launching of 2nd phase rescue drive
* Sohel Rana on 15-day remand
* RMG workers block road at Mohakhali
* Bangladesh workers vent anger at building disaster
* A rescue operation launched amid frustration- Five more bodies found
* BGMEA to form 7-member committee to compensate workers affected from
Savar building collapse

* RMG buyers worried over Savar tragedy, political unrest: BGMEA chief
* BGMEA should be more responsible to protect industry: e-media leaders
* Govt nods RMG safety panel formation
* Cabinet decides to form high-powered body to visit all RMG units
* Ensuring safety of the garment workers
* Apparel sector needs a regulatory body
* End to hopes
* Chances for more survivors slim
* Voices from debris still heard
* Death Toll Reaches over 400 in Bangladesh Factory Collapse
* Workers stage rowdy protests
* Workers’ demo in Savar, Gazipur demands Sohel be hanged
* Unrest in RMG sector must be dealt with wisely
* Banks to raise Tk 100cr for Savar victims
* NBR proposes tax-waiver for donations to Savar victims
* Police hunting Spanish national, 2 more RMG unit owners
* 29 unidentified bodies set to be laid at Jurain

20130430
* ‘Give me his body, at least’
* Havoc around lack of data
* File murder case to ensure punishment for Savar tragedy: BNP
* Cranes used in 2nd phase Savar rescue operations
* Who owns the Rana Plaza land?
* Lets us make this May Day meaningful
* US concerned on factory tragedies, political unrest
* Sorry Shaheena
* Deaths in RMG units must stop
* Western shoppers concerned at workers’ safety in 3rd World
* Cheap clothes at cost of life
* Mass Murder At Savar

* Death toll rises to 397
* Rana, 4 garment owners taken to court
* Govt plans fresh panel for garment factory inspection
* HC order on Judicial Commission sought
* Award exemplary punishment to Sohel Rana
* Savar incident example of mass killing: CPB
* High cost of cheap clothing

* Death toll rises to 391 with 2 more bodies found
* Terrorists? Arrest ‘Em (Unless They’re Walmart)
* Ether Tex violates labor law
* Primark says it will pay compensation to Bangladeshi victims
* Loblaw to pay compensation
* Benetton Paper Trail Discovered in Rana Plaza Rubble
* HC orders confiscation of Rana, factory owners’ property
* Savar Tragedy: Quader for quick trial of those responsible
* Victims’ relatives stage sit-in
* 100 RMG workers hurt in police action
* Workers’ protest in N’ganj; factories shut

* Three more bodies retrieved, ceaseless efforts continuing
* Dogs used to locate bodies
* Labourers are dispossessed by a number of ways in B’desh: Unnayan Onneshan
* Union is the way, not outside pressure: Abed
* Garment owners become bloodsuckers: Dr Wazedul
* Savar victims’ families, injured to be rehabilitated: PM
* Wounded rescuer to be flown to S’pore
* BGMEA to help garment workers replace their limbs
* Donation & help pours in for Savar victims
* AG for Tk 1cr compensation for each family
* Rana Plaza Graft: ACC team visits site
* Allegations of concealing Bodies- It’s not true says rescue coordinator
* Rana’s father on 13-day remand
* HC bans transfer of wealth of Rana, 4 RMG owners
* Another held for helping Sohel Rana to flee
* How Rana fled after rescue
* 10 hurt in cop-worker clash in Savar
* Over 300 RMG units forced to suspend production amid protest
* PM urges workers to refrain for violent acts to protect industry
* Vested quarter out to destroy RMG industry, says BGMEA
* Law enforcers remain alert at apparel hubs
* Leathergoods manufacturers extend help to Savar victims
* Govt for sustainable growth of apparel sector: Inu

20130501
* Many still missing in Savar
* Survived, only to suffer
* Savar tragedy sheds light on workers’ safety
* Owners probe owners’ fault
* Little signs of life in the rubble
* After the Savar factory tragedy
* ILO to send high-level mission to Bangladesh following the Rana Plaza
Building collapse
* Missions abroad need to convince buyers: BGBA
* Badal for building monument for Savar tragedy victims
* May Day today
* May Day today
* Message of May Day 2013
* Extreme pricing. At what cost?
* Global labour rights groups want BD to strictly abide by bldg, safety
codes
* Labour law amendment in the offing

* Two more bodies found, death toll reaches 389
* EU considers trade action
* Pledge to protect workers’ rights
* Death toll rises to 404

* Clashes erupt over Bangladesh building owner
* Retailers seek plan to prevent disasters like ones in Bangladesh
* Retailer Joe Fresh sends reps to Bangladesh as death toll rises
* More bodies recovered
* Only 149 are missing, claims Army
* Unclaimed laid to rest
* Ensure workplace safety, workers’ welfare: PM to entrepreneur
* ILO assures of all-out support for capacity building
* Action can prevent further tragedy: ILO DG
* Canadian retail council to update trade guidelines after Bangladesh
disaster
* Bangladeshis demand worker safety as toll tops 400
* Bangladesh garment workers voice safety fears
* Europe action would have big impact
* Salvage campaign continues at Savar, 32 unclaimed bodies buried

20130502
* 11 more bodies retrieved- Death toll now 427
* EU considers trade action

20130502/3
* Death toll rises to 442
* Bangladesh minister rebuts safety criticism
* Foreign minister rebuts safety criticism
* Mayday Rally turns to a mourning day at Dhaka, Bangladesh
* Punishment of owners of Rana Plaza, RMG factories demanded
* Compensation for Savar tragedy victims demanded
* May Day: Reflecting on Bangladesh factory disaster and corporate terror
* Workers observe May Day
* A case for trade unionism in RMG sector
* Mass funeral at Jurain
* RMG closes after cracks spotted
* ‘Using of heavy machinery contributes to building collapse’
* No permission taken for upper floors
* BGMEA core committee to trace out risky factory buildings
* PM to receive donations for Savar victims Sunday
* OFA donates for Savar victims
* Riddle over the missing
* Identify Risky Factories: 5-member body formed led by Rajuk chief
* BGMEA provides no workers’ lists: ISPR
* Slow legal process delays justice
* Waiting for a mother
* The Rana Plaza tragedy and the way forward
* Europe action against Bangladesh would have big impact
* RMG sector should take EU threat seriously: experts
* ILO call to hire more Factory Inspectors & for quick actions
* US ‘wants to help improve working conditions in Bangladesh’
* Help the humanitarian relief effort in Savar
* US shoppers lash out at stores over Bangladesh
* US brands used Rana Plaza factories, Canada retailers to update
industry guidelines
* Global retailers pledge help for Savar victims
* Buyers want a regulator to ensure safety at factories
* Retailers rethink their role after Savar tragedy
* Dhaka building collapse highlights impact of supply chain on brand
* Wal-Mart to JC Penney join talks on BD garments safety
* Primark admits responsibility
* 15 May deadline set for Bangladesh safety plan
* Rana Plaza: Demands to brands
* The legally-binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement

* Death toll rises to 486
* BD is reforming its garment industry
* Citing work condition, Walt Disney pulls out from Pakistan, Bangladesh

20130503
* Savar building collapse death toll passes 500
* Bangladesh building death toll tops 500
* Traumatized Savar survivors need psychological intervention: experts
* ILO expects a way forward, roadmap by Saturday: Gilbert Houngbo
* Bangladesh is reforming its garment industry: PM
* Disaster not ‘really serious’: Muhith
* Loblaw sticks with BD, but plans changes
* Disney’s BD exit puts pressure on other retailers
* Bangladesh Fears an Exodus of Apparel Firms
* How textile kings weave a hold on Bangladesh

* Were Rana Plaza Workers Sewing Clothes for Benetton when Building
Collapsed?
* German co. KIK surprised as sample found in Rana Plaza
* Never ending mourning at Rana Plaza

20130504
* Death toll soars to 518
* Tk 100 cr fund for Savar victims
* BD reforming its garment industry, PM tells CNN
* Top buyers least focused on working conditions
* Canadian buyer pledges help
* The Rana Plaza tragedy
* Rana Plaza tragedy sends shockwaves across the world
* Hard lessons from Savar tragedy
* Savar death toll may shoot up

* Death toll from Rana Plaza collapse reaches 544
* 3 RMG factories shut as cracks found
* EU warns of trade action
* Tragedy won’t affect RMG export: Muhith
* Loblaw to stay, help in Bangladesh
* Disney Ditches Bangladesh as Factory Death Toll Passes 500
* Pressure on Bangladesh, retailers to fix factories
* Brands revisit concerns over BD after building collapse
* Factory Collapse Could Force Rethink for Garment Industry
* Trauma robs survivor of sleep

* Death toll from Rana Plaza collapse reaches 553
* Robbery after tragedy
* With agony, they wait for bodies
* …Unending wait for dear ones
* Rescue goes at slow pace
* Rights groups blast Muhith
* BGMEA to set up a database of garment workers
* Editors advise BGMEA to win back credibility
* Analysis- A difficult bridge to cross
* BGMEA lingers probe report submission
* Loblaw condemns ‘deafening silence’
* The global garment trail : From Bangladesh to a mall near you
* Action plan to protect workers safety in line with ILO
* Bangladesh collapse toll at 550, ILO urges closure of unsafe units
* ILO against boycotting of Bangladeshi RMG
* Call to make comprehensive plan for RMG industry
* Disaster in Bangladesh rags in the ruins
* BD for donors’ support for safety standards of RMG factories
* Factory collapse a catalyst for workers’ rights
* Conspiracy to destroy garments industry: How far tenable?
* Long-term Solution for Recurrence of Savar type Disaster
* Factory owners ignore safety as buyers refuse to share costs

20130505
* Death toll rises to 584
* Burnt rescuer dies in S’pore
* Army starts verifying claims on missing victims
* Victim’s wife sues Rana, 2 others- Murder case filed
* Rana Plaza architect says building was never meant for factories
* Rana Plaza architect says building was never meant for factories
* Bangladesh clothing imports soar in NZ

20130506
* Death toll rises to 627
* Rana Plaza: Of bondage, of the looser and the lost
* Victims of Rana Plaza laid to rest in Chandpur
* As if two sisters sleeping on one bed
* PM receives Tk 10.14 cr in donation for Savar victims
* Disney’s Disgrace
* Benetton On Bangladesh Tragedy: No One In The Industry Should Feel
Above It
* BGMEA factory reformation move leaves loopholes
* Savar tragedy and exodus of foreign buyers
* EU threatens of trade status suspension
* B’desh trade status reviewed by US before collapse
* Apparel exporters to appoint lobbyists to retain GSP
* Unsafe BD factories must close: UN
* No one knows how many were trapped
* Apparel units will be closed if any more disaster takes place

20130507
* Death toll from Savar collapse hits 677
* 2 Savar engineers sent to jail
* Testimony of Shapla, Left Arm Amputation and a Serious Head Injury
* Last Hope in Ruins: Bangladesh’s Race to Save Shaheena
* While earning the least, they suffer the most!
* BGMEA demands special budgetary allocation
* PM to receive donations for Savar victims Tuesday
* German government to provide Taka 50 lakh for Savar victims
* India to provide artificial limbs to Savar victims
* Rana Plaza’s 2 RMG factories had 2,141 workers: BGMEA
* Payment of wages to Savar RMG workers to take some more days

* Death toll rises to 696

20130508
* Rana Plaza death toll hits 735
* Procession of dead goes on
* No more tears left
* 16 unclaimed bodies from Rana Plaza buried
* RMG workers block Dhaka-Aricha highway
* RMG workers start getting salaries
* More donation to PM relief fund for Savar victims
* BGMEA probe body starts functioning

20130509
* More bodies lie under rubble
* Bodies coming out endlessly
* Haunted, forever
* 1,776 Rana Plaza workers paid wages, arrears
* Rana Plaza engineer sent to jail
* Rehabilitation of the victim families of Savar tragedy
* “The Stench of Death Is Everywhere
* Savar Tragedy, Garments Industry and Bangladesh

* Rana on fresh remand
* Kaikobad, a face of humanity
* Death toll rises to 892

20130510
* Savar toll reaches 978
* 76 more unidentified victims buried
* Banks asked to submit account details of Rana, factory owners by Tuesday
* The issue of taking foreign help in rescue operation

* Savar tragedy turns spotlight to Murad Jung
* Body identification a challenge now
* Rana Plaza death toll jumps to 1033

* Rana Plaza death toll jumps to 1043

20130511
* Woman pulled out alive
* United in prayer
* Bangladesh finds building collapse survivor
* Rana Plaza death toll jumps to 1055
* 2 RMG factory owners sent to jail- Capital punishment sought
* Hope regained
* Reshma: A ray of hope for Bangladesh amid ruins
* Rescuers pull out 31 more bodies- death toll 1084
* Maimed, they look to bleak future
* 78 bodies of Savar collapse victims to be buried today
* Rana Plaza survivors feel deceived
* Primark to compensate Savar victims under NGO scale

20130512
* Death toll rises to 1121
* No return to ‘happy’ life
* Many victims’ not inlcuded in BGMEA list

20130513
* Protest demanding Rana’s capital punishment – Several RMG units in
Ashulia suspend production
* Death toll rises to 1126
* A few expected left
* Call for memorial at Rana Plaza site
* Ode to Savar bravehearts
* Physical endurance at its extreme

20130514
* Protest demanding wages rise – Workers go berserk in Savar
* Make list of missing victims: HC
* Army plans to wrap up salvage operation as collapse toll reached 1127
* Reshma describes her ordeal
* Rana Plaza rescue operation ends- Death toll stands at 1,127
* 33 Rana Plaza victims buried unidentified at Jurain
* Savar tragedy: accident or murder?

20130515
* Clean Clothes Campaign estimates $ 71m compensation for Rana Plaza victims
* Bangladesh compensation fund sought
* More than 54 million euros compensation demand for victims Rana Plaza:
* PM receives more donations for Savar victims
* Missing victims’ relatives stage protest
* The wait not over yet as Rana Plaza lies in ruins
* 286 unclaimed bodies buried at Jurain
* Hundreds join prayer as Bangladesh wraps up salvage campaign
* Rana Plaza changed it all
* Who cares about relatives of the missing?
* Govt to acquire Rana Plaza land
* Rana has 23 bank accounts
* Rana’s father remanded again
* End of rescue operation does not mean closure of Savar tragedy
* Savar tragedy and a few questions

20130516
* Garment workers demand punishment of people responsible for Rana Plaza
collapse
* Relatives of missing workers still gather
* Traumatised survivors of factory collapse vow to leave city in drove
* Plan for mental treatment to Savar victims
* German support for industry mishap victims
* Sohel Rana on 13-day fresh remand
* Savar accused to be tried under Penal Code Sections 304, 304(A)

20130517
* The Orphans of Savar
* “How will we survive?” Testimonies of injured workers of Bangladesh
Rana Plaza Collapse
* Victims demand speedy disposal of cases
* Families of 100 Savar victims get cheques from PM in first phase
* Banks’ donation for Rana Plaza victims

20130518
* The Savar Tragedy
* Lost in despair
* Factory licences given, renewed despite faults

20130519
* 12 Savar tragedy victims receive financial support
* Relief for victims of Savar tragedy
* NBR to look into bonded warehouse facility for Rana Plaza factories
* Bangladesh Seamstress: ‘I Had No Choice but to Go to Work’

20130520
* ‘Rana Plaza land for the victims’
* Double blow for a mother
* Families of the missing in financial crisis
* Rana remanded again

20130522
* Labour leaders sit in in Jurain graveyard
* Survivors of Bangladesh Factory Collapse Speak Out

20130523
* Bangladeshi volunteers haunted by rescue trauma
* Savar survivors need psychological support: experts
* Maimed survivors want limbs replaced as soon as possible
* Families of 121 Savar victims get financial help from PM
* Shipping Ministry donates Tk 1 cr for Savar victims
* IBC demands $ 71 million in compensation for victims
* DNA profiling to take more time
* Probe body recommends lifetime imprisonment to Rana
* Rana’s father on three-day fresh remand
* Rana Plaza killings caused by negligence of owners
* Rana Plaza was built poorly

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2