Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013


More bodies lie under rubble

More bodies lie under rubble

The death toll soared to 679 yesterday. Rescuers still expect more bodies from the rubble of Rana Plaza at Savar as many have remained missing since the country’s deadliest industrial disaster on April 24.
At least 46 bodies were recovered yesterday. The army team that has been leading the rescue operation is clueless about how many are now buried in the debris since the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has not yet published a comprehensive list of the workers who used to work at five garment factories in the nine-storey building.
The trade body had declared that it would pay salaries to the workers today but yesterday its leaders said they were skeptical about making it as the list had not been done yet.
Talking to The Daily Star, BGMEA Joint Secretary (labour) Rafiqul Islam said he had the March salary sheets of the five factories. But he refused to disclose the number of the garment employees until that month.
Instead, he insisted repeatedly that many might have joined or quit the job in April.
“We are not sure if we will be able to pay off the salaries as we are still working on the list.”
The owners of the building and the garment units forced several thousand workers to join work on April 24 despite cracks having developed on some pillars and floors the day before.
At Adharchandra High School ground, about a kilometre from the accident spot, where bodies are brought for identification, many families were seen looking for the bodies of their loved ones. Three social organisations were registering the names of the missing workers.
However, the government has not taken any step to prepare the list.
Meanwhile, rescuers claimed they had completed around 40 percent of the job of removing the debris and recovering dead bodies.
The concrete slabs of the top six floors had been removed from the front side of the collapsed building while the rescuers could enter the fifth floor in the rear side, said Lt Col Md Moin Uddin, commanding officer of Army Engineering Battalion of the Engineers’ Brigade.
The rescuers were yet to reach the staircase in the middle of the building where more bodies were feared to be buried, he said. The building crashed in such a way that bodies might have been squashed in some parts of it.
“Nevertheless, heavy machines are operating at the points where we are sure that there are no bodies. We stop them whenever we find any trace of bodies under the slabs,” Moin said.

  • Al-Mamun

    How long we will mourn for these sorts of man-made accidents? Let’s take proper action.

  • Dev Saha

    A redundant pride! Only dumb, deaf and callous hearts could stay unmoved.

  • Tonmoy Ahmed

    There is an organization of RESCUE TEAM(The International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG)) of UN . As we are a member UN we can take help from them. We took INTERNATIONAL help after SIDR and so many disasters . It is really mystery for me why not we are seeking help from them.