Life in jail urged for owners of collapsed Bangladesh building

The defects and errors that led to the world’s deadliest garment-industry accident extend from the swampy ground the doomed Rana Plaza was built on, to “extremely poor quality” construction materials, a committee appointed by Bangladesh’s government concluded.

The massive, vibrating equipment operating when the eight-story building collapsed was also noted as a factor.

The committee urged life prison terms for the owners of the building and the five garment factories that operated there, though the charges they currently face carry a maximum of seven years.

The report says nothing about the role that an inadequate regulatory system played in the Apr 24 collapse, which left more than 1,100 people dead.

The disaster highlighted the hazardous working conditions in Bangladesh’s $20bn (€15.4bn) garment industry and the lack of safety for millions of workers who are paid as little as $38 a month.

The 1,127 killed at Rana Plaza in the Dhaka suburb of Savar are among at least 1,800 Bangladesh garment-industry workers killed in fires or building collapses since 2005.

The investigating committee, appointed by the interior ministry, found the ground Rana Plaza was built on was unfit for a multi-story building.

“A portion of the building was constructed on land which had been a body of water before and was filled with rubbish,” committee head Khandker Mainuddin Ahmed said.

He said the land had been swampy with shallow water.

Building owner Sohel Rana also “used extremely poor quality iron rods and cement,” Ahmed told The Associated Press yesterday. “There were a series of irregularities.”

The report found Rana had permission to build a six-story structure and added two floors illegally so he could rent them out.

Past statements from authorities said the owner had permission for a five- story structure and added three floors illegally.

The report said the building was not built for industrial use, and that the weight of machinery and their vibrations contributed to the collapse.

The committee urged the government to ensure that all those injured receive free medical care.

More on this topic

Dozens face murder charges after collapse of Bangladesh garment factoryDozens face murder charges after collapse of Bangladesh garment factory

Bangladesh clothing factories re-open after pay rowBangladesh clothing factories re-open after pay row

Primark to offer compensation to Bangladesh familiesPrimark to offer compensation to Bangladesh families

European retail giants back plan for Bangladesh inspectionsEuropean retail giants back plan for Bangladesh inspections


Lifestyle

The Regal Cinema in Youghal, Co Cork, first opened its doors in 1936. Director John Huston used it as a base to review footage while filming Moby Dick in the town.We Show Films: ‘I once found a full rotisserie chicken in the cinema’

The biennial festival in Cork produced another unique feast of fine music and good vibes.Sounds from a Safe Harbour brings fine music and good vibes to Cork

Here are five things to check out in the week ahead.5 things for the week ahead

You have crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a ship to Ireland. You are tired and hungry and desperate to deliver your expensive cargo to port.Islands of Ireland: Horse, trading, and Drishane

More From The Irish Examiner