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Bangladesh: 19 more bodies found, death toll now 551, in Savar building collapse

4th May 2013
Bangladesh: 19 more bodies found, death toll now 551, in Savar building collapse

Photo shows several cranes removing the rubble of the Rana Plaza in Savar bazaar bus stand as the death toll of the country’s worst building collapse continue to rise.


Dhaka, (Daily Star):

Rescuers pulled out 19 more bodies from the rubbles of the Rana Plaza that came crashing down on several thousand people on April 24.

With the fresh recovery, the death toll of the Savar building collapse reached to 551, according to the control room of Dhaka District. The control room was opened to disseminate information on the Savar victims.

Several bodies were also recovered in the early hours of Saturday, the sources added.

From 6:00am to 2:30pm on Saturday, 19 more bodies were recovered from the debris of the building, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the rescue operation stepped into 11th straight day on Saturday.

On Friday, 80 bodies were found, the highest found in a single day since the second phase of the rescue operation began on the night of April 28 with heavy equipment and sniffer dogs.

More bodies are thought to be buried under the debris of the nine-storey building and rescuers fear the toll could rise sharply as they go deeper into the pile of rubble.

Rana Plaza, which housed several garment factories, collapsed after owners forced several thousand workers to work there despite cracks had developed on some pillars and floors the day before.

It is still unclear how many workers were there on that fateful day.

The building also had some shops but most of them were closed due to a hartal.

Some rescuers said they were pulling out bodies that had been severely decomposed and some were with missing limbs, making it very difficult for relatives to identify them. All bodies were first taken to Adhar Chandra High School playground for identification.

District administration officials said on Friday the decomposed bodies had become hard to identify and there was an incident in which five to six families claimed one body.

The unidentifiable bodies had been sent to morgues at Dhaka Medical College and Mitford Hospital.

The district administration is handing over the bodies that had identity cards or mobile phones. Sometimes it hands over bodies only after getting correct descriptions of the victims from relatives.

Several hundred people were still at the school playground holding photographs of their loved ones still missing.

A number of relatives who have been waiting for the last 10 days said they would not leave without bodies.


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