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Bangladesh Dhaka building collapse leaves 87 dead

By The Citizen
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At least 87 people have been killed and many more are feared trapped after an eight-storey building collapsed on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, government officials say.

Firefighters and army personnel are leading the operation to rescue those caught beneath the debris in Savar.

More than 1,000 people were injured. One official put the death toll at 127.

Building collapses are common in Bangladesh where many multi-storey blocks are built in violation of rules.

Bangladesh has one of the largest garment industries in the world, providing competitively priced clothes for major Western retailers which benefit from its widespread low-cost labour.

Primark, a clothes retailer with a large presence in Britain, confirmed that one of its suppliers was on the second floor of the Rana Plaza. It said it was “shocked and deeply saddened by the appalling incident” and that it would work with other retailers to review standards.

The Rana Plaza building contained several clothing factories, a bank and a market.

It collapsed at about 09:00 local time (03:00 GMT), during the morning rush hour.

Sohel Rana, a local who rescued several people, told Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star that he had heard cries for help coming from under the rubble.

The scene looked like a “war zone”, Dhaka resident Tahsin Mahmoo told the BBC, adding that appeals had been put out for citizens to donate blood.

Hundreds of people, anxious for news of friends and relatives, have gathered at the scene. Others are moving rubble using their bare hands. BBC