DHAKA, Feb. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Rescuers have pulled 18 bodies from the debris of a collapsed building in Dhaka and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue operations resumed Sunday morning.
Private television channel ATN Bangla said on Sunday that over 50 wounded workers have been rescued so far during the operations.
The building collapsed around 11 a.m. (0500 GMT) Saturday when tiles and sanitary workers, masons and electricians were working inside. It housed the factory of Phoenix Fabrics a year ago and was being converted into a 500-bed hospital.
A rescue team chief told reporters that 20 percent of the total rescue work of the five-story building was completed late Saturday. It would take at least four or five days to complete the whole job, he said.
The building collapsed on some shanty houses of a slum and also some vehicles with people inside. Eyewitness said there were also about 60 to 70 construction workers inside the building.
Experts blamed faulty and unplanned construction for the collapse.
Asked about punishment to those responsible for the causalities, State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar said while visiting the spot that the authorities were giving priority to rescue work rather than anything else at the moment.
Rescuers of Bangladeshi army, fire service and police are seen removing the debris using heavy equipment, including cranes, at the spot.
This is the second accident in less than 48 hours in this disaster-prone country. On Thursday a devastating fire in a textile factory in southeastern port city Chittagong killed at least 55 people.
This is also the second factory building collapse in less than one year. In April last year a nine-storied building housing a garment industry near Dhaka collapsed, killing 74 workers and wounding several hundred others. Enditem