As an estimated 150 people were working in a Bangladesh cement factory, five stories high, the roof collapsed in on them, leaving several killed and several more trapped inside. Rescue efforts were immediately put in order to help those who were trapped. The building was a partially built factory in Mongla, Bangladesh, in which construction workers were on hand finishing the work. According to sources, six people were killed, while around 100 of them were trapped inside. Of those 60 were injured, with some in critical condition.
The coordinator of the rescue effort, a fire and civil defense official in Bangladesh said that the rescue effort was working hard but carefully to retrieve the workers inside, though it was believed early Thursday evening that there was at least 30 people still inside. Other officials have commented that it is unclear how many people remain inside the building.
Unfortunately building collapses are nothing new in Bangladesh. The country has seen many collapses, along with casualties, from unsafe factories. Though this building was unfinished, it still collapsed leaving many injuries, some deadly. According to sources, the collapse of the cement factory happened in Bangladesh around 1 p.m. on Thursday. Emergency services said that soldiers and sailors in the Mongla port jumped in to help with rescue efforts, leaving many on hand searching. Officials have not, however, released information as to how long they think the rescue efforts will continue on.
Following the mass amount of factory and building collapses that have happened in Bangladesh, the government created new laws. These laws included the ability for workers to form trade unions, without permission, the pledge of all factories to give five percent of their profits to a worker’s welfare fund, and even the boost of minimum wage from $38 to $68. All of this was in effort to create better conditions for factories and their workers, however, as these issues only covered better wages and better care after a problem, it did not immediately address the situation.
In Bangladesh building codes are not very safe, and buildings have collapsed that have left thousands dead and thousands injured. Fires have even occurred at the factories, causing the deaths of many. The safety of factory workers is a major concern in the country. Especially as the Human Rights Watch states that the treatment of factory workers is horrible, and they are subject to harsh conditions.
In the past, factory collapses have caused the countries citizens to demand prosecution of the owners of the factories. When the Rana Plaza collapsed in Savar in 2013, protest against the owner Sohel Rana pushed for such. The owner of the cement factory that collapsed in Mongla, Bangladesh on Thursday is a welfare organization that works to help former Bangladesh troops and their families. This organization is known as Sena Kalyan Sangstha. Though prosecution will probably not be protested in this case, due to the fact that the factory was currently in construction, families of the victims may demand justice.
Information has not yet been released as to why the factory in Bangladesh collapsed. Officials just say that it was a roof collapse. The rescue effort is still underway and all those injured or pulled from the rubble are being rushed to a medical facility near by. As Bangladesh continues to experience deadly incidents from unsafe buildings, perhaps the codes will be changed soon.
By Crystal Boulware