• Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Rana Plaza Collapse

Joyless Eid awaits Rana Plaza victims

Joyless Eid awaits Rana Plaza victims

Hundreds of survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse and relatives of the deceased and missing victims continued their demonstrations at the building site in Savar for the third day yesterday, demanding compensation which has been eluding them for the last 15 months. The protesters again declared that they would observe the upcoming Eid-u-Fitr at...

Sohel Rana denied bail in graft case

Sohel Rana denied bail in graft case

The High Court today rejected a bail petition of Sohel Rana in a corruption case filed for violating building code in constructing Rana Plaza, which collapsed on April 24 last year killing at least 1,135 people. The Anti-Corruption Commission on June 15 filed the case with Savar Police Station, saying Rana in league with other accused had built Rana Plaza violating the Bangladesh National Building Code. The case was also lodged against Savar municipal mayor, Rana's parents and 14 others. The HC bench of Justice Md Nizamul Haque and Justice Md Jahangir Hossain rejected the bail petition saying it was not moved properly before the bench. Rana filed the petition seeking bail recently. Rana,...

Inspections a blessing for garment factories

Inspections a blessing for garment factories

Bangladesh should take the ongoing garment factory inspections by the engineers of Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh positively, as the initiative has been taken to strengthen the sector's safety standards. The Accord recommended the review panel to order to close 18 factories, housed in four buildings. The review panel closed only 12 out of the 875 factories inspected as of yesterday. The numbers indicate that the risk factor of the buildings is not as serious as thought after the Rana Plaza collapse, Alan Roberts, executive director for international operations of Bangladesh Accord Foundation, said in an interview. “This is a very important positive message for the garment sector of...

Identifying the Dead in Rana Plaza Collapse, Tazreen Fire

DNA sampling not enough

Along with DNA sampling, the authorities should use other methods like conducting investigation through interviewing relatives and neighbours to identify the bodies of the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire victims, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday. The DNA profiling lab will not be able to identify all the dead victims, as the collection of the samples following the two industrial disasters was not appropriate, they said.   Hameeda Hossain, convener of Sramik Nirapotta Forum, urged the authorities concerned to...

Alliance reveals flaws in 30 garment factories

Alliance reveals flaws in 30 garment factories

Engineers of 26 US retailers and brands under the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety have so far closed down one factory in Chittagong, a year after the Rana Plaza collapse killed 1,138 people. The platform has suggested the review panel close down five more garment factories. The Alliance that started with seven teams on March 12 inspected 508 out of the 626 factories in Dhaka and Chittagong. “We are at the final stages of our inspection,” said Rabin Mesbah, managing director of the Alliance, signalling that inspections would be complete by July 10. “Alliance and Accord members have 300 common factories to buy clothes from. We have agreed to avoid repetition.” The platform published...

Rana Plaza Collapse

Traumatised rescuers struggle for normalcy

When the nine-storey Rana Plaza crumbled last year trapping over 3,500 people under the debris, several hundred untrained civilians volunteered in the rescue mission. But the service to humanity cost some of them dearly--dozens got mentally scarred at the horror that unfolded for 20 days. Many rescuers became so traumatised and physically ailed that they are yet to get back to their profession. Consequently, the loss of their source of income coupled with the expenses of lengthy treatment has left...

Bleeding, still

Salma Begum fumbled in the piles of the debris-strewn disaster site in Savar. A piece of torn cloth here, a rubber slipper there. She looked out. Was it her son's shirt or sandal? She mumbled. Only tears rolled down her cheeks. "Where've you gone, my heart, my bazan (son)?.... I'll take you home," howled Salma, kneeling down on the jumbled concrete debris of Rana Plaza. No one and nothing could stop her mourning. Only a sense of nothingness prevailed. Like Salma, family...

One Year on Rana Plaza Tragedy

Promises not kept, mostly

Promises not kept, mostly

Families of the injured and dead in the Rana Plaza building collapse are leading a life of uncertainty as the government, garment factory owners and international brands have failed to honour their commitments. A wide gap exists between the commitments made when the building caved in at Savar and the delivery of those promises...

News Analysis

Tragedy, forever

Tragedy, forever

It will remain with us for ages to come and fester like some mysterious disease to remind us of our shameful lust, greed, nonchalance and brutality with which we treated our key export earners. Those of us who covered the tragedy of Rana Plaza a year ago will never forget the screams of the...

Probe at final stage

Probe at final stage

One year has passed since the Rana Plaza collapsed killing 1,135 people but the Anti-Corruption Commission has not yet completed its investigation into corruption allegations against the building owner, Sohel Rana.   The ACC investigation is at the final stage and a report will be submitted soon, ACC Secretary Faizur Rahman Chowdhury told journalist at a press briefing at the office of the anti-graft body in the capital's Segunbagicha yesterday. Prompted by newspaper reports, ACC formed a committee on April 28 last year, four days after the tragedy, to investigate how Rana had amassed his wealth.   The committee, comprised of ACC Deputy Director Mohammad Mofidul Islam and Assistant Director Mohammad Mahbubul...

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