Over 225 garment workers are reported dead after an eight-story factory building collapsed on Wednesday around 9:00 AM, in Bangladesh, on the outskirts of Dhaka. There are about 3,000 employed by the factory, but it’s unknown exactly how many were inside the building when it collapsed.
Dilara Begum, a garment worker who survived the accident, said workers had been ordered to leave after a crack appeared in the wall of the building on Tuesday but on Wednesday morning supervisors had told them to return to work, saying the building had been inspected and declared safe.
“We didn’t want to go in but the supervisors threatened to dock pay if we didn’t return to work,” she told the Guardian.
Another survivor said there was no warning before the rear of the building caved in followed mostly by the upper floors:
“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 Zohra, another worker, who was pulled from the rubble by local people.
CBS World reports the full story in detail. Very tragic stories are coming in of people still caught in the massive debris from the fallen building. An Associated Press cameraman went into the rubble and survivors could be heard pleading for help:
“We want to live, brother. It’s hard to remain alive here. It would have been better to die than enduring such pain to live on. We want to live. Please save us,” the man cried.
Rescue efforts are slow and some are using their hands to remove concrete rubble to save survivors.Protests have taken to the streets by other garment workers in the area.
Here is the video
There was a fire in the same garment industry less than five months ago that killed 112 people. This factory makes clothes for major retailers worldwide such as Walmart. The Guradinan UK says this factory employed mostly women, with wages as low as $38.50 per month. Bangledesh is currently the second largest apparel exporter in the world.
The author, Leslie Salzillo, is a political commentator, diarist and visual artist. She began contributing to AddictingInfo.org in March 2013. She also contributes diaries for Daily Kos.