Bangladesh factory owner charged with murder

The Rana Plaza collapse was Bangladesh's worst industrial disaster

The Rana Plaza collapse was Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster

Police in Bangladesh have charged the owner of the Rana Plaza complex with murder over the building’s collapse in 2013, killing more than 1,100 people.

Sohel Rana and more than a dozen government officials are among 42 people charged with murder.

They are accused of ignoring warnings not to allow workers into the building the day before it collapsed.

It was the worst industrial disaster in the country’s history – and prompted criticism of global retail practices.

The accused, who include owners of factories housed in the complex, initially faced charges of culpable homicide.

But in view of the seriousness of the accident the charges were upgraded to murder. If convicted, defendants face the death penalty.

Lead investigator Bijoy Krishna Kar said a court hearing would take place on 28 June to decide further proceedings.

“We pressed charges against 42 people, including owner Sohel Rana, in two cases filed over the building collapse,” he told Reuters.

Mr Rana was arrested days after the disaster as he attempted to flee to India.

He and others are also accused of ignoring building codes, including adding three extra stories to the building in Savar, some 30km (20 miles) outside Dhaka. It collapsed suddenly on 24 April 2013.

More than 2,500 people were rescued from the building alive, but some suffered terrible injuries.

The disaster drew attention to the poor working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment industry, one of the world’s largest.

Bangladeshi factories provide cheap clothing for major Western retailers, which benefit from the country’s widespread low-cost labour.


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