Dhaka collapse: Primark to pay victims of Bangladesh factory disaster

Clothing store chain urges other retailers who used the building to also come forward and offer help

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The Independent Online

Primark has announced it is to compensate victims of the factory collapse in Bangladesh that has so far claimed the lives of at least 382 people.

In a statement the Irish retailer said: “We have partnered with a local NGO to address the immediate needs of victims, including the provision of emergency food aid to families. [We] will also pay compensation to the victims of this disaster ...  This will include the provision of long-term aid for children who have lost parents, financial aid for those injured and payments to the families of the deceased. We are fully aware of our responsibility.  We urge these other retailers to come forward and offer assistance.”

The news came as rescue officials said that despite frantic efforts involving heavy lifting gear to remove concrete and steel, it was now unlikely that any more people would be found. On Monday Mohammed Sohel Rana, the politically connected owner of the building who was arrested at the weekend as he tried to flee into India, was brought to the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court. He wore a bullet-proof vest and was led away to an unknown detention centre after the judge agreed to a request from police to hold him for 15 days before filing charges. The crimes he is accused of carry a maximum punishment of seven years.

Mr Rana is one of seven people arrested, and police are still looking for another factory boss who they said was a Spanish citizen. Last week, when cracks were first noticed, Mr Rana allegedly insisted that there was no danger, even though employees from a bank that was housed at the location were evacuated. Garment factory managers told their employees to carry on with their work or else have their wages docked.