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Several Killed and Dozens Trapped After Factory Collapse in Bangladesh

At least 40 people were reportedly rescued from the debris after the building collapsed in the Mongla Port Industrial Area, while some 100 more remain trapped.

by Arijeta Lajka
Mar 12 2015, 7:38pm

Photo by Banglanews24

In the latest in a number of similar tragic incidents over the past few years, at least five people have died and dozens more were injured after the roof of a five-story cement factory collapsed in South Bangladesh on Thursday.

At least 40 people were reportedly rescued from the debris after the building collapsed in the Mongla Port Industrial Area, while some 100 more remain trapped, Reuters reported.

"Most of the people inside the building were the construction workers including the people who recovered alive ... The recovery efforts are going on very carefully to avoid further risk," Khulna district police chief Nizamul Haque Mollah said.

An estimated 150 people were working in the factory at the time of the collapse, according to Belayet Hossain, an officer in charge of the Mongla Port police station close to the factory.

The Mongla Cement Factory was still under-construction during the collapse. While the army owns the factory compound, a Chinese-owned company was behind the construction.

China has had business ties in Bangladesh for the past 40 years, and has been a major developer in communication and infrastructure projects. Foreign analysts have attributed Bangladesh's involvement with China as an attempt to brush off the West's concerns of legitimacy and partner with countries like China, Japan, and Russia instead.

Bangladesh has experienced several deadly accidents that resulted from poorly constructed buildings in the past few years.

In April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Savar collapsed, killing 1,127 workers. A 400-page report blamed the mayor for granting faulty construction approvals, and also sought the prosecution of the building's owner, Sohel Rana.

According to the Human Rights Watch, garment workers in Bangladesh are especially vulnerable to abuse, often receiving threats for organizing trade unions. Workers are also subjected to managers that mistreat them and use nearby gangs to instill fear in them.

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