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Bangladesh building collapse death toll rises to 195 as search continues

English.news.cn   2013-04-25 18:45:01            

by Naim-Ul-Karim, Zheng Jianghua

DHAKA, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Rescue workers continued their struggle Thursday to reach many more who are feared trapped in the rubble one day after a building collapse in Savar on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, with the death toll rising to 195.

In the collapse of the building Rana Plaza, reportedly one of the worst building collapses in Bangladesh, officials say hundreds of people with severe injuries have been rushed to the hospitals for treatment.

"The death toll from the building collapse has climbed to 195," Masum Khan, a police official at a control room set up to provide information about the disaster fatalities, told Xinhua Thursday morning.

He fears the death toll may rise significantly.

Hundreds of volunteers and locals joined fire servicemen and army personnel who have been working frantically to rescue people believed to be trapped under rubble.

"We can't give time line when the rescue operation will be completed," Bangladesh Army Brigadier General Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder, leader of the rescue operations told Xinhua.

"We're trying our best to rescue first the survivors. If we go for a large scale clean-up that could be detrimental to those who are still under the piles of rubble," he said.

witnesses said at least six survivors including five females were sent to hospital on Thursday at about 2 p.m. local time.

Fire Services Director (operations) Mahbubur Rahman told Xinhua Thursday morning that 1,600 people have so far been rescued after the eight-storey building in Savar collapsed at about 8:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

Most of the rescued people sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospitals, he said.

Doctors Wednesday night said the death toll could rise as some of those injured are in critical condition.

Officials say rescue operation in the building, which contained five garment factories, a bank's branch and hundreds of shops, has been continuing without any break since Wednesday morning.

But they say it is unclear how many people remain trapped in the wreckage and rescuers fear the death toll may rise significantly.

Shikder said only the first few floors of the building remained intact.

The authorities asked to close the building after it developed cracks Tuesday, but the factory owners reportedly defied the restriction.

It is not known exactly how many workers were inside when the building collapsed. But sources said several thousand workers used to work in the five factories.

Building collapses are common in Bangladesh as many multi- storey blocks are built in violation of rules with inadequate supervision.

At least 110 people were killed in a garment factory fire in Ashulia on the outskirts of Dhaka in November 2012.

Editor: Fu Peng
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