Death toll at Bangladesh factory passes 800 as factories are shut

The death toll from the garment factory collapse outside of Dhaka has now reached 803. As a result, The Bangladeshi government has closed down 18 plants.

AAP reports that, following negotiations with the International Labour Organisation, The government has agreed to treat safety as "the highest consideration" for the garment industry.

Textile minister Abdul Latif Siddique told reporters, "Sixteen factories have been closed down in Dhaka and two in Chittagong…..we'll ensure ILO standards in terms of compliance."

There are 4500 garment factories in the country and Siddique added that more of them are likely to also be shut down. 

The disaster has gained significant international attention and the government is aware that Western firms may leave the country as a result.

It is expected that the death toll will continue to rise.

"We're expecting to find some bodies because we still haven't reached the bottom. We've finished around 70 per cent of the job," Brigadier General Siddiqul Alam Sikder told AFP.

He said that there is still a stench coming from the lower floors which suggests that more bodies are still trapped.

According to authorities, over 3,000 garment workers were in the building when it collapsed.

A preliminary government investigation said that the collapse was caused by vibrations of giant electricity generators. Police have arrested 12 people including the complex's owner and four garment factory owners in connection with the disaster.

Image: www.fashion-law.org