Six years of Rana Plaza Tragedy
Published: 10:37 AM, 24 April 2019 Updated: 02:53 PM, 24 April 2019
On April 24, 2013, a multi-storied building named Rana Plaza in Savar on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, collapsed, killing 1,175 people and injuring over two thousands of others.
Not only the country’s deadliest industrial accident, but Rana Plaza disaster is also considered the deadliest disaster in the world garment industry.
The building contained clothing factories, a bank, apartments, and several shops. The shops and the bank on the lower floors were immediately closed after cracks were discovered in the building.
The building’s owners ignored warnings to avoid using the building after cracks had appeared the day before. Garment workers were ordered to return the following day, and the building collapsed during the morning rush-hour.
The Rana Plaza disaster, the specialists have described what happened as “not an accident” but “a man-made disaster”. The causes included shoddy construction, a building with too many floors and too much heavy equipment for the structure to withstand.
During the disaster, the building housed five garment factories that manufactured goods for major retail companies in Europe and North America.
On the morning of 24 April, there was a power outage, and diesel generators on the top floor were started. The building collapsed at about 9 am, leaving only the ground floor intact. 3,122 workers were in the building at the time of the collapse. One local resident described the scene as if “an earthquake had struck.”
One of the garment manufacturers’ websites indicates that more than half of the victims were women, along with a number of their children who were in nursery facilities within the building.
The incident shook Bangladesh’s $28 billion garment industry, the second largest in the world behind China. It drew attention to horrific conditions for factory employees, and raised questions about transparency in the global garment industry in which they work.
Although six years have elapsed since the tragedy, families of many Rana Plaza tragedy victims were yet to get any compensation from the authorities concerned while many remain still traumatized.
The families of over 150 people, who had lost their lives in the building collapse, are counting their days with the hopes of getting compensations for the last five years.
According to a survey conducted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), some 159 workers were still missing and families of those missing people are deprived of getting any compensation. They have not received any compensation.
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