Survivors rescued from collapsed Bangladesh garment factory

24 people have been found alive and rescued from a collapsed garment factory in Bangladesh. However, the death toll from the tragedy has now reached 260.

24 people have been found alive and rescued from a collapsed garment factory in Bangladesh.

However, according to Reuters, the death toll from the tragedy has now reached 260.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the announcement of the rescue was met with enthusiastic cheers by relatives of missing workers. It was first thought that 40 survivors had been found but the figure was later revised to 24.

Mizanur Rahman, a rescue worker with the fire brigade told Reuters, "An unspecified number of victims are still trapped. We can't be certain of getting them all out alive. We are losing a bit of hope."

The factory collapse was worst industrial accident in the Country’s history. It follows a number of such incidents, including a recent factory fire in the Bangladeshi manufacturing hub of Ashulia which killed 110.

Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment supplier, behind China. Clothes manufactured in Bangladesh are supplied to western clothing brands and others. Most of those killed in the factory collapse were low-paid female workers.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, British low-cost fashion line Primark and Spanish giant Mango have confirmed that their garments were produced in the factory, though other companies may also source garments produced there.

These brands do not own the factory in question and so have no legal responsibility for the collapse. However, unions and other campaigners claim they have a moral responsibility.

Cracks were found in the building the day before the collapse.

An Oxfam spokesman, Gareth Price Jones said that staff had expressed concern about going into the building following the warnings of the cracks and were told they would have pay docked if they didn’t.

Bangladeshi flags flew at half mast on Thursday and a national day of mourning was called.

The accident has caused industrial action. According to television footage, more than 1000 textile workers threw stones at the offices of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and there clashed with riot police.

"The deaths of these workers could have been avoided if multinational corporations, governments and factory owners took workers' protection seriously," Amirul Haque Amin of the National Garment Workers' Federation said in a statement.

 

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