The collapse of a cement factory in Bangladesh on Thursday has killed at least seven people and injured around 60 other people, according to reports from local police this morning. According to the video report above from EuroNews, up to 100 people were inside the five-story building when the roof collapsed during construction. Reuters reports that that factory, run by a subsidiary of the Bangladesh army, was just being built in the port town of Mongla, about 210 miles southwest of the country’s capital, Dahka.
Soldiers and sailors from the town pitched in to help emergency personnel pull about 60 survivors out of the rubble, as of the time of this report. “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 told Reuters.
This collapse is just another chapter in the country’s history of poor building safety, which includes the collapse of complex of shops and small factories called the Rana Plaza in 2013 that killed more than 1,130 people, most of whom were garment workers. The disaster at that factory, which was built on swampy ground outside Dhaka, was one of the world’s worst industrial accidents and sparked a global call for better safety in the world’s second-largest ready-made garment exporting country.
If you look at the tag on just about any article of clothing bought from a major retailer in a western country, including Walmart and the Gap, odds are good it will say “Made in Bangladesh.” Since the collapse, human rights activists have called for boycotts of clothing made in the country, but the Guardian pointed out that working in these factories has been empowering for young Bangladeshi women, despite the low wages and poor working conditions they face in the factories.
Images via EuroNews via YouTube screengrab