In Bangladesh, an eight-story garment factory building and shopping center collapsed right outside of the capital of Dhaka. Officials have so far pronounced 96 people dead and over 700 people injured.
This incident comes after factory owners refused to follow orders that were issued on Tuesday stating that they should not allow anyone into the building due to a crack in the block.
“I was at work on the third floor, and then suddenly I heard a deafening sound, but couldn’t understand what was happening. I ran and was hit by something on my head,” said Zohra Begum, a worker at one of the factories.
The building housed five different garment factories that employed mostly women. One of the factories was home to Ether Tex Ltd., whose company had been sub-contracted to supply Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The company chairman said that they did not know about the structure’s potential danger.
“There were some crack at the second floor, but my factory was on the fifth floor,” said Ether Tex chairman, Muhammad Anisur Rahman. “The owner of the building told our floor manager that it is not a problem and so you can open the factory.”
Many buildings in and around Dhaka do not comply with structural regulations. This incident is similar to an accident that occurred eight years ago when dozens were killed by the collapse of a different garment building.
Our prayers go out to all of those affected by this tragedy.