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Rescuers work through the night after building collapse

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 00:47

April 25 - Rescue continues at night after a block housing garment factories and shops collapsed in Bangladesh, killing at least 147 people. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Firefighters and troops dug frantically through the rubble long into the night on Wednesday (April 24) as they tried to rescue people from a building that collapsed, killing 147 people and wounding thousands. The eight-storey building housed shops and five garment factories -- which employed mostly women -- and shops. It was located in Savar, 30 km (20 miles) outside Dhaka. Mohammad Asaduzzaman, who was in charge of the area's police station, said factory owners appeared to have ignored a warning not to allow their workers into the building after a crack was detected in the block on Tuesday (April 23). Two survivors trapped for more than ten hours in the collapsed building said factory managers told them the building was safe as they arrived for work. Halima Khatoon and Ria Begum were lucky to escape. Still under shock, but already angry at the factory owners who, they said, put their lives at risk. "We did not want to go up in the factory this morning but the management forced us to go up and said that there was no problem with the building. Just after I sat at my table to work, the building just collapsed. I could not even leave, I was trapped at my table," Begum said. "Inside, at about 9.10 am, the building collapsed and we have been trapped inside since then and up to now - it is 10.18pm, eleven hours - we were trapped. We did not want to enter the building but the owners pushed us in to go and work," Khatoon said. One fireman told Reuters about 2,000 people were in the building when the upper floors slammed down onto those below. Bangladesh's booming garments industry has been plagued by fires and other accidents for years, despite a drive to improve safety standards. In November 112 workers died in a blaze at the Tazreen factory in a nearby suburb, putting a spotlight on global retailers which source clothes from Bangladesh. The two major incidents, and a third in January that killed seven people, could taint Bangladesh's reputation as a source of low-cost products and services and call attention to Western retailers and other companies that obtain products from the country.

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Rescuers work through the night after building collapse

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 00:47