Bangladesh coppers nab fugitive owner of collapsed building

News of Sohel Rana’s capture was met with cheers at the site of the building collapse

Rescuers have resumed using heavy machines to clear rubble after a fire reportedly killed a woman trapped in the rubble of the eight-storey building that collapsed near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Wednesday…

“We are not sure whether the woman is dead or not, but she could not be rescued as a fire broke out when the rescuers tried to pull her out by cutting iron rods,” said Shahinul Islam, spokesman for the army unit leading rescue operations…

The owner of the building was arrested earlier on Sunday as the death toll from its collapse exceeded 380.

“The human-faced beast who had built a death trap here was arrested while trying to flee the country,” Jahangir Kabir Nanak, a local government minister, said while touring the rubble in Savar, 25km northwest of Dhaka.

Sohel Rana, a local politician with the ruling Awami League party, was captured near the Indian border and flown back to Dhaka to face questioning, security sources said.

Rana was accused of using substandard materials during construction of the building, which was completed in 2006.

Accused of negligence in the building collapse were the owners and top executives of the garment factories housed in the Rana Plaza building.

Three have been arrested, and three remained at large…

The factory owners were accused of ignoring warnings issued by officials a day before the collapse that the building was unsafe due to large cracks.

The owners and managers of the factories forced employees to work despite knowing of the cracks, a complaint filed with police said…

Four government engineers, who approved and supervised the planning and construction of buildings, were likewise arrested.

79% of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from clothing manufacture. Any industry occupying that big a portion of a nation’s economy is likely to own as many politicians as manufacturing facilities. Forgive my cynicism; but, I don’t expect very much to be done about dangerous working conditions in Bangladesh.

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