Bangladesh factory collapse: 41 charged over deadly Rana Plaza tragedy

The defendants - who include the building's owner Sohel Rana - could face life in prison if found guilty

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 21 December 2015 18:34 GMT
The relatives of the Rana Plaza disaster verdicts weep as they remember them two years on
The relatives of the Rana Plaza disaster verdicts weep as they remember them two years on (Getty Images)

A Bangladeshi court will try 41 people for murder over the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory which killed over a 1,000 workers.

The eight storey garment factory - built on swampy unstable ground outside the capital city Dhaka - collapsed in April 2013 after the upper four floors were built without permission.

The disaster killed 1,135 workers, while 2,515 other injured people were pulled from the rubble alive.

It was one of the world’s worst industrial disasters in history.

The main defendant is the building’s owner, Sohel Rana, who is accused of ordering workers to return to their posts despite reports of cracking plaster the day before and an engineer ruling the building was unsafe.

The 41 could face life in prison if convicted.

Children marking the second anniversary of the disaster in April asking the big retailers when the money they promised would arrive

Rana is in custody, 16 others are on bail and 24 people have fled.

The court issued arrest warrants against them on Monday.

The building housed five garment factories, supplying global brands such as Primark.

Bangladesh’s garment industry is worth a reported £16.7bn ($25bn) a year and 60 per cent of its exports go to Europe.

After the disaster, the international business community pledged to work to improve safety standards but two years on a report by New York University (NYU) found that only eight out of the 3,425 garment factories surveyed had made the necessary improvements.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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