Bazlus Samad and Mahmudur Rahaman Tapash were charged with "death due to negligence." The case against them seems pretty strong, too: the top three stories of the eight-story building were added illegally (a ninth story was under construction at the time of the collapse), and survivors have said that though they were ordered by police to evacuate the building the night before the collapse after cracks appeared in the walls, their bosses ordered them back in to work.
Following a tremendous outcry and pressure to respond, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered the arrests of the owners of the factories housed within the building as well as the owner of the building itself, Mohammed Sohel Rana. Rana has yet to be found, and Bangladesh News 24 hours reported that "several people who identified themselves as Rana's staff were seen moving goods from the house."
The night before the building collapse, Rana reportedly told workers that the building "would stand 'for another 100 years.'" It didn't even last another 100 hours.
Here's how The Wall Street Journal described the horrific scene Rana left behind:
On Friday, limbs of victims protruded from the fallen masonry and volunteers sprayed scented air freshener around the site to obscure the stench of decomposed flesh.
Survivors are still being pulled out of the rubble -- two of them having given birth while they were trapped. The AFP report put the current death toll at 324. It's estimated the final count will be much higher; hundreds of people are still missing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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