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Bangladesh Garment Factory Building Collapses and Kills 433
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Labor conditions in Bangladesh have been bad for a long time, but the collapse of its Rana Plaza building have made this transparent to the world. Bangladesh employs 3.6 million people in the garment industry, which is second in the world only to China as a clothing exporter. The industry is made up of mostly women, some of whom may earn downwards to $38 a month – but the collapse of the 8 story Rana Plaza building does much more to grab the world’s attention. After all, 433 are dead, 149 still missing, and 2,500 have been injured.

The building was approved for only five-stories; the building owner, Mohammed Sohel Rana, the villain of this tale, illegally insisted three more stories be added. Not only that, but when huge cracks ruptured on the building and police ordered an evacuation, he told tenants that it was in fact safe, and not to worry. He has subsequently been arrested for these actions.

  
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“The owner of the building … should be hanged to death and compensation should be given to the injured and those who died,” said Moshrefa Mishu, a labor leader, as reported by the Associated Press: apparently labor unions are a bit more vehement in Bangladesh than in the U.S.

The building created apparel for such Western companies as Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac, Ether Tex, New Wave Style, and New Wave Bottoms, none who care to say much regarding the poor working conditions, let alone the building’s tragic collapse.

Mohammed Sohel Rana is not the only one arrested for the collapse. His father, Abdul Khalek, and eight others were also arrested. Meanwhile, rescuers have been brought in, led by Maj. Gen Chowdhury Hassan Suhrawardy, who commands the army garrison that is trying to rescue as many of the remaining 149 missing persons as possible. Funerals have already begun for many of the victims.

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