Taslima Akhter. Savar Dhaka, Bangladesh. April 24, 2013.
April 24, 2013, still remains fresh in my memory. At 9 AM when I got the news, I rushed to Rana Plaza. That morning I did not understand what a brutal thing had happened, but within hours I grasped the enormity and horror of it. The day passed with many people helping survivors and taking photos. At midnight there were still many people. I saw the frightened eyes of the relatives. Some were crying. Some were looking for their loved ones. Continue reading “Taslima Akhter's photo in Time top 10 of 2013”
Reshma, who was spotted alive under the debris of collapsed Rana Plaza on Friday afternoon was pulled out safely and rushed to Combined Military Hospital (CMH).
She was miraculously located alive under the rubble after 16 days of the worst ever building collapse tragedy in Bangladesh?s history.
Earlier, rescuers found her after hearing a feeble voice under the debris. A rescuer from Bangladesh Army identified the woman as one ?Reshma?.
She has fought all odds to survive the catastrophe for 17 days, even as the rescuers had lost hope of finding anyone alive under the debris weeks ago.
The rescuer said they could talk to her. ?After being located she was given food, water and oxygen.? She was then pulled out alive.
After giving up hope of finding anyone alive under the wreckage, the rescuers had pressed heavy machinery to clear the debris on April 28.
But only the next day on April 29, the rescuers found one ?Shahina? alive under the debris. But she could not be rescued as she died in a fire that had broken out at the wreckage site a few hours after she was spotted.
The nine-storey commercial block, Rana Plaza, collapsed on Apr 24 leaving over a thousand people, mostly garment workers, dead.
They said I would need a mask. ‘The smell’ they said. It was five days into the accident.
But it was no accident. A building built illegally, of faulty construction, showing signs of rupture, had been made their prison. It eventually became their grave. More money needed to be made.
(In Bangla)?Interview of rescue volunteer Mohammad Ferdous at Rana Plaza from Shahidul Alam on Vimeo.
(In Bangla) Volunteer rescue worker Mohammad Ferdous breaks down in tears as he recalls how he had to saw off a hand of a trapped worker in order to free her from the wreckage of Rana Plaza where around a thousand workers are still reported missing. Pity we still can’t use youtube as it is still banned in Bangladesh.
Seven hundred workers have died in factory fires in Bangladesh since 2005, including the 112 who burned to death or jumped to their deaths at the Tazreen factory on November 24th. Now hundreds more bodies are being pulled from the rubble of the Rana Plaza building, in an industrial district 18 miles from Dhaka.
At Tazreen the owners didn?t build fire escapes. They?d locked the doors on the upper floors ?to prevent theft,? trapping workers in the flames.
At Rana Plaza, factory owners refused to evacuate the building after huge cracks appeared in the walls, even after safety engineers told them not to let workers inside. Continue reading “Who Pays the Real Price of Your Shirt?”
Factory executive returns unscathed after two days ?in hell?
Sabiha Sultana Mukta after her rescue on Friday
Photo- Syed Zain Al-Mahmood
For two days, Sabiha Sultana Mukta lay pinned in the darkness – the lifeless body of a colleague to one side, a concrete pillar just above her head.
?It was like being in a grave. I just prayed,? she said. ?I knew I would die.? Continue reading “Back from the grave”
Wednesday, 24 Apri: The Clean Clothes Campaign, along with trade unions and labour rights organisations in Bangladesh and around the world is calling for immediate action from international brands following today’s collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, in Dhaka Bangladesh. The collapse of the eight story building, covering three factories and a mall, cost the lives of at least 82 people and injured over 800.
Activists today managed to enter the ruins of ‘Rana Plaza’ and found labels linking major European retailers to this latest tragedy: Spanish high street brand Mango and British Primark. Rana Plaza also produced for a host of well known European and US brand names including C&A, KIK and Wal-Mart. These brands were also involved in the fire at the Tazreen factory, not far from Savar, where 112 workers died in a fire exactly five months ago. German costcutter KIK was also involved in the Ali Enterprises fire in Pakistan, where nearly 300 workers burned to death last September.
The killed and injured workers were producing garments for when their factory ? with allegedly illegally built floors – suddenly gave way with a loud sound, leaving only the ground floor intact. This latest collapse provides yet further evidence that voluntary company led monitoring has failed to protect workers? lives. Labour rights groups say unnecessary deaths will continue unless and until brands and government officials agree to an independent and binding fire and building safety program.
?It’s unbelievable that brands still refuse to sign a binding agreement with unions and labour groups to stop these unsafe working conditions from existing. Tragedy after tragedy shows that corporate-controlled monitoring is completely inadequate,? says Tessel Pauli from Clean Clothes Campaign.
She adds: ?Right now the families of the victims are grieving and the community is in shock. But they, and the hundreds injured in the collapse, are without income and without support. Immediate relief and longterm compensation must be provided by the brands who were sourcing from these factories, and responsibility taken for their lack of action to prevent this happening.?
To stop these collapses from happening, the Clean Clothes Campaign calls upon brands sourcing from Bangladesh to sign on to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement immediately. The CCC, together with local and global unions and labour rights organisations has developed a sector-wide program for action that includes independent building inspections, worker rights training, public disclosure and a long-overdue review of safety standards. It is transparent as well as practical, and unique in being supported by all key labour stakeholders in Bangladesh and internationally.
The agreement was already signed last year by the US company PVH Corp (owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger) and the German retailer Tchibo. The labour signatories are now calling on all major brands sourcing in the industry to sign on to the initiative in order to ensure its rapid implementation. The programme has the potential to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers currently at risk in unsafe and illegally built factories.
CCC has been campaigning on safety issues in Bangladesh since the collapse of the Spectrum factory in 2005, which left 64 people dead and involved high street brand Zara.
Dhaka, Bangladesh. April 24, 2013 [DrikNEWS] – At least 100 garments workers have been found dead and 600 others injured as an 8-storied building, Rana Plaza, collapsed in Savar bus-stand area of Dhaka on Wednesday morning. Four garments factories and a bank branch located in the complex were closed on Tuesday after the building?s wall showed cracks. However, some workers returned to factories on Wednesday before the collapse. The injured workers of the Rana Plaza collapse alleged that they had been compelled to join work Wednesday. They also alleged that garments authorities forced them to enter the risky building on Tuesday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is closely observing the incident and ordered three unit of Army instantly to start rescue mission.
NEW DELHI ? An eight-story building in Bangladesh that housed several garment factories collapsed on Wednesday morning, killing at least 70 people, injuring hundreds of others, and leaving an unknown number of people trapped in the rubble, according to Bangladeshi officials and media outlets. Continue reading “Bangladesh Building Collapse Kills at Least 70”