Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

People rescue a garment worker who was trapped under the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 kilometres outside Dhaka, on April 24, 2013. (ANDREW BIRAJ/REUTERS)
People rescue a garment worker who was trapped under the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 kilometres outside Dhaka, on April 24, 2013. (ANDREW BIRAJ/REUTERS)

Bangladesh to charge owner of building whose collapse killed 1,130 Add to ...

Bangladesh’s anti-graft agency will file charges against the owner of a building that collapsed last year – killing more than 1,130 people, most of them garment workers – in a construction-violation case, an agency spokesman said on Tuesday.

The April, 2013, collapse of the Rana Plaza, built on swampy ground outside Dhaka, ranks amongst the world’s worst industrial accidents and sparked a global outcry for improved safety in the world’s second-largest exporter of ready-made garments.

More Related to this Story

Last month, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed a case with police accusing 17 people of breaching regulations over the construction of the building.

But the commission did not list building owner Mohammad Sohel Rana, as his name did not appear in documents covering ownership of the land and design approval, which instead listed his parents.

“Rana’s name will be included in the charge sheet as his involvement has been found in a further investigation,” commission spokesman Pranab Kumar Bhattachajee told Reuters.

Rana was arrested after a four-day hunt shortly after the building collapsed, apparently trying to flee across the border to India. He is being detained.

Low labour costs and what critics call shortcuts on safety make Bangladesh the cheapest place to make large quantities of clothing.

Late last year, the government raised the minimum wage for garment workers by 77 per cent to 5,300 taka ($68 U.S.) and amended the labour law to boost workers’ rights, including the freedom to form trade unions. It is also cooperating with garment factory inspections by safety experts hired by retailer brands.

But erratic decision-making poses a new set of problems for the industry, whose safety record has been under the microscope since the collapse of the Rana Plaza.

Bangladesh’s exports, however, in the year to June hit a record $30-billion, up 11 per cent from a year ago on the back of stronger garment sales.

Follow us on Twitter: @globeandmail

 

Topics:

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories