Dhaka building collapse: Hopes for rescue fade

REF: Rescue work on a collapsed building in Bangladesh has entered a sixth day, but officials say they no longer expect to find any survivors.

Oh Allah! How am I going to feed and raise my daughters?”Victim’s widow

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Heavy lifting gear is now being used to raise slabs of concrete at the Rana Plaza garment factory, where at least 380 died after Wednesday’s collapse.

A fire disrupted rescue work on Sunday.The owner of the building is facing charges of negligence, along with two government engineers who were involved in approving its design.

Owner Mohammed Sohel Rana was arrested on Sunday near the Indian border and returned to Dhaka.Mr Rana went on the run after the eight-storey building collapsed on Wednesday with several thousand workers inside.

Checkpoint arrestAccording to the head of the team which tracked down Mr Rana, he had hidden in several places since disappearing.

“He went into hiding in different areas and changed locations regularly. Besides Dhaka, he stayed in two or three districts outside of the city,” said Mokhlesur Rahman of the Rapid Action Battalion

“He reached the border with India. There was a possibility that he could have managed to escape into India within a very short space of time.

“Based on a tip-off, we hurriedly flew to Jessore in a helicopter. He was arrested at the checkpoint at Benapole in Jessore.”

On Sunday afternoon, a fire halted rescue work at the building. The presence of clothing in the garment factory may have worsened the blaze, correspondents say.

Four firefighters were taken to hospital,

The BBC’s Anbarasan Ethirajan says rescuers had been trying to free a trapped woman for a number of hours when the fire began, but they later reported she had not survived.

The co-ordinator of rescue efforts said that work with heavy-lifting gear would be done carefully to avoid mutilating bodies trapped under the debris.

Six arrested

At least 3,000 are estimated to have been in the building when it collapsed. About 2,430 are now known to have survived.

There is no official figure on the number of people still missing, but Akram Hossain, a deputy director of the fire service, said their chances of survival were “diminishing by the minute”.

Earlier on Sunday, local government minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak announced the arrest of Mr Rana by loudspeaker at the site of the collapse, to cheers from rescue workers.

Bangladeshi TV later showed the building’s owner in handcuffs after being flown back to Dhaka by helicopter.

A total of six people, including three owners of factories operating in the building, have now been arrested.

Anger at the building’s collapse has triggered days of violent protests in Dhaka.

Bangladesh has one of the largest garment industries in the world, providing cheap clothing for major Western retailers that benefit from its widespread low-cost labour.

But the industry has been widely criticised for its low pay and limited rights given to workers and for the often dangerous working conditions in garment factories.

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