Murder charges against 41 over Rana Plaza collapse

Wednesday 03rd June 2015 06:25 EDT

Dhaka: The collapse of the Rana Plaza in 2013 led to an international outcry as it left more than 1,100 people dead in what was the worst disaster in the history of garment industry.

Bangladesh police have finally filed formal murder charges against 41 people, one of them is Sohel Rana, owner of the building. Also charged were his parents, owners of several factories in the building and at least a dozen government officials. Bijoy Krishna Kar, investigating officer who filed the charges said, if convicted, the accused could face death penalty. More than 2,400 workers were rescued or escaped alive after the factory collapsed.

A high-level state report released in 2013 said the building was constructed with substandard materials in violation of building codes, and recommended bringing formal charges against the owner, as well as against the owners of five factories in the building. It also stated that owners of the factories urged employees to return to work even after an engineer inspected the building the day before the collapse and deemed it unsafe. The upper stories of the building were illegally constructed, and heavy generators installed there caused the building to shake, it said.

Taslima Akhter, coordinator of Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity, a worker’s organization, pointed out that it took the police two years to file charges. Rana, who attempted to flee the country in the days after the disaster, was arrested near Bangladesh border with India, a week after the collapse.

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