Eight Story Building Collapses in Bangladesh Apr 28, 2013

On Wednesday, April the 24th, an eight-story clothing factory in the South-Asian country of Bangladesh collapsed on itself, killing more than 300 people and wounding 1000 more. As of Friday, April the 26th, 2375 people have been rescued from the rubble.  

The building was used by many American and European clothing manufacturers such as Spain's Mango, and Britain's Primark chain of low-cost clothing. Labels were also found that suggested that the building was used by Canada's very own Joe Fresh and Wal-Mart.

According to the Bangladeshi media, a safety inspection had taken place the day before the collapse. Cracks and fractures had been discovered in the structure and the owners of all shops and factories were notified.

Although shops on the lower levels had closed down, the owners of the various factories in the building demanded their employees to keep working the next day, the day of the collapse.

Interestingly enough, further inspection of the collapse showed that the upper four levels of the eight-story building were constructed without governmental permits. These were the very four levels used by the clothing companies.

The clothing brands are under heavy fire from labor rights activists around the world. These activists are demanding immediate change of company policies to make working conditions more humane. This same change was demanded by workers and was promised by clothing brands November of last year, when another factory caught fire killing many workers.

As for the owners of the factories operating on the building, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister has ordered for their immediate arrest. Although the owners are believed to be in hiding, the Prime Minister wants them caught and brought before the courts on Tuesday, the 30th.

The Bangladeshi people are outraged and protests have continued since Thursday. Demonstrators converged upon the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and are also demanding that the owner of the building, Sohel Rana be condemned to the death penalty.

Fortunately, more workers are being rescued from the rubble and the situation is stabilizing. The following weeks will inevitably put intense pressure upon all American and European manufacturers to review their work policies.

By: Danyal Ahmed 

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