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Two engineers and factory owners detained after Bangladesh building collapse that killed at least 324 in Dhaka

The building's owner's wife has also been detained in an attempt to pressure her husband into surrendering
  • @James_Legge

Bangladeshi police have detained for questioning two engineers involved in approving the design for the clothes factory that collapsed this week in Dhaka, killing at least 324.

It had had three floors illegally added.

Police said the two men, Imtemam Hossain and Alam Ali, were detained today, but did not say what role they played in the approval.

Two owners of one of the several garment factories in the Rana Plaza were also arrested, and the wife of the building's owner detained in an attempt to pressure her husband to surrender to police.

Military spokesman Shahinul Islam said 324 bodies have been recovered and 2,419 survivors accounted for since the building's collapse on Wednesday morning.

The bodies pulled from the rubble are being kept at the nearby Adharchandra High School grounds before being handed over to families. Many people milled around at the school, waving photos of their missing loved ones.

Police in riot gear formed a cordon around the site to keep away hundreds of protesters who have been venting their anger at the situation since Wednesday. The protests have spread outside Savar, a Dhaka suburb where the collapse happened.

Police fired rubber bullets and used sticks to disperse several hundred stone-throwing garment workers today in Savar, a police official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Clashes also erupted in other parts of Dhaka and in the south-eastern city of Chittagong where hundreds of garment workers took to the streets and vandalized vehicles.

Junior Home Minister Shamsul Haque Tuku said police had arrested Bazlus Samad, managing director of New Wave Apparels Ltd., and Mahmudur Rahman Tapash, the company chairman.

He told reporters that police had also detained the wife of Mohammed Sohel Rana, the building's owner, for questioning. Rana, a local politician, hasn't been seen publicly since the collapse. Negligence cases have been filed against him.

Dhaka police superintendent Habibur Rahman said Rana was a local leader of ruling Awami League's youth front. His arrest, and that of the factory owners, was ordered by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also the Awami League leader.