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Sunday, 5 May 2013

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Bangladesh factory collapse: Engineer arrested

5 May Sky News

An engineer who warned a building in Bangladesh was unsafe a day before it collapsed has been arrested on suspicion of negligence.Details of Abdur Razzak Khan's arrest came as the number of people killed in the disaster passed 500, after dozens more bodies were pulled from the rubble.

The eight-storey Rana Plaza in Dhaka housed five clothing factories, including one which made garments for Primark.Khan was a consultant for Mohammed Sohel Rana, the building's owner, when three floors were illegally added.

He was called to inspect the building when it developed cracks on April 23 and later appeared on television, saying he had told Rana to evacuate workers because the structure was not safe.Police ordered an evacuation but witnesses say Rana told people gathered outside the building on the morning of the tragedy that it was safe to go inside.

Hours later, the complex collapsed into 600 tons of rubble with around 3,000 people inside.Lieutenant Mir Rabbi, of the Bangladeshi army control room, said the death toll now stands at 501.More than 100 people are still missing.

Major General Chowdhury Hassan Suhwardy, an army commander who is supervising the rescue operation, said: "We are still proceeding cautiously so that we get the bodies intact.Rana has also been arrested and is expected to be charged with negligence, illegal construction and forcing workers to join work.

The offences are punishable by a maximum of seven years in jail.

 

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