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article image4 arrested in Bangladesh building collapse, hunt on for others

By Stephen Morgan     Apr 27, 2013 in World
Dhaka - Arrests have begun and the hunt is on for others held responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people as a consequence of the building collapse in Bangladesh, in which some 3,000 garment workers were trapped.
Reuters reports that two owners of factories in the destroyed Rana complex and two engineers have been arrested. The owner of the building itself, however, is still on the run and Reuters says that police have sent out alerts to airports and border crossings to stop him fleeing the country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised in parliament yesterday that "Wherever he is, he will be found and brought to justice."
The BBC says that the Deputy chief of Dhaka police, Shyami Mukherjee, told AFP that the two factory owners are accused of causing "death due to negligence," after having forced their employees to work, despite warnings. There were 5 factories inside the complex and the other three owners are unaccounted for.
According to Al Jazeera, the police have plans to arrest at least ten more. Reuters quotes Junior Internal Affairs Minister, Shamsul Huq, who told reporters."Everyone involved - including the designer, engineer, and builders - will be arrested for putting up this defective building." The Washington Post says there is a video of the building before the collapse, which “shows columns missing chunks of concrete.”
The police have also detained the wives and other family members of those held responsible, in order to put pressure on them to give themselves in. It seems that it is standard police practice in Bangladesh to use the relatives of suspects in this way.
Another 80 people were rescued yesterday and 24 on Saturday morning. 900 are still missing.
There is huge anger over the incident in Bangladesh with massive protests in Dhaka and Chittagong. Garment workers are attacking similar factories and the police are struggling to contain the unrest. Al Jazeera reports that a police chief told AFP "The situation is very volatile. Hundreds of thousands of workers have joined the protests."
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