Bosses arrested over collapse of Primark factory
Four people have been arrested and several engineers detained over the collapse of an eight-story building that killed over 340 people in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, last week.
Among those arrested were Managing Director of New Wave Apparels, Bazlus Samad Adnan, Company Chairman, Mahmudur Rahman Tapash, and Chairman of Phantom Apparels, Aminal Islam, all of whom were heads of companies using the building.
The owner of the building – a local politician named Muhammed Sohel Rana – was also arrested having been recently caught close to the border with India trying to escape the country after being pulled from the rubble earlier in the week.
The police have been under increasing pressure over the last couple of days with open rioting as the country called for the arrest and trial of those responsible for the collapsed building. An alliance of Leftist political parties that make up the ruling coalition added further pressure earlier last week saying it would call a national strike on 2nd May if those responsible had not been arrested.
Mr Tapash and Mr Adnan were detained early Saturday morning after they handed themselves over to the authorities. A statement from the Bangladesh Government Manufacturer and Exporters Association read: “We had urged them surrender. After they appeared here, the detective branch of police arrested them.”
The owner of the building Mr Rana – who was affiliated with the ruling Awami league of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed- was flown into Dhaka from the border in a helicopter and paraded in front of the press to the cheers of those still pulling bodies out of the rubble.
Several engineers have also been detained on charges of negligence following suggestions that the foundations of the building had been laid on unstable ground and without the proper permits.
Further investigations have also revealed that the Mr Rana had originally constructed the building with five floors and then added another three illegally. Over 3,122 staff worked in the building and as many as 900 people could still be missing.
Although industrial accidents are not isolated in a country that has become a center for the manufacture of cheap textiles it has caused particular outrage amongst workers and commentators from around the world due to the scale of death and shortsighted greed. As Bangladeshis demand safer working conditions it is important that pressure is put not just on factory owners but on those who exploited and dictated the economic structures that have resulted in the neglect of the people that work at the bottom of a chain that leads right into our wardrobes.