Another Bangladesh factory collapse kills workers

At least eight workers have been killed and many others are still trapped, feared dead, after the roof of a five-story cement factory collapsed in Bangladesh on Thursday.

About 100 workers were reportedly on duty at the time of the most recent Bangladesh factory collapse, which occurred in Mongla in the Bagerhat district.

Fire official Mizanur Rahman said at least 40 people were rescued from under the debris, many of whom were hospitalised with injuries, and up to 70 others were feared still trapped.

Local government administrator M. Jahangir Alam said survivors stated that between 50 to 60 people were working on the roof while others were on the ground floor when the collapse occurred.

Soldiers and emergency personnel used two large cranes and steel cutters to clear some debris to help rescue a number of workers.

District administration official Mohammad Abdus Samad said efforts were continuing by fireman and others to reach the survivors.

“There are more bodies inside the debris, we’re trying to recover the living people first,” he said.

Thousands of garment workers and their unions rally on the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse that killed more than 1,100 garment workers - image courtesy of the Solidarity Center via Flickr
Thousands of garment workers and their unions rally on the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse that killed more than 1,100 garment workers – image courtesy of the Solidarity Center via Flickr.

The cause of the most recent Bangladesh factory collapse is still under investigation but according to initial reports, a new four storey structure being built on the roof of the building may have caused the collapse.

The Bangladesh military press office has reported that China’s CNBM International Engineering, part of the state-owned conglomerate CNBM Group, China’s largest cement-maker, was responsible for the construction at the factory.

The latest collapse follows the collapse of a nine storey building which housed garment factories in the capital city of Dhaka in April 2013, which killed more than 1,100 people.

Engineering surveys show that many Bangladesh factories violate building codes by using substandard materials or adding extra floors that building foundations can’t support, meaning that buildings collapses occur all too frequently in the country.