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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Building collapse kills more than 70 in Bangladesh


When Earthquake or Tsunami leave hundreds dead ~ the only refrain that ‘man is too small before nature’ and nothing can be done about natural disasters……but what to say or do when priceless human lives are lost – primarily due to human greed and flouting rules………. Sad…

There are reports that around 70 people are feared dead in a building collapse in Bangladesh.  It happened in the Indian city of Thane and now it is Bangla’s turn… when it comes to travails of people, the Asian countries are no different – be it India, Pak, Lanka, Bangla, Burma or…….  In a dejavu scenario, it is reported that building collapses are common in Bangladesh where many multi-storey blocks are built in violation of rules.  Heard this elsewhere too !!!

The city of Savar nearer Dhaka may have a historic past, but will have to carry this pang of deaths now as  70 people have been killed and many more are feared trapped after an eight-storey building collapsed here. BBC and other agencies report that frantic efforts are under way to rescue those beneath the debris. At least 200 were injured by the collapse. The army is helping with the rescue operation on the outskirts of Dhaka. The eight-storey building contained a clothing factory, a bank and several other shops. It collapsed during the morning rush hour. Many people have gathered near the scene looking for friends and relatives. BBC reports that it is not yet clear what caused the collapse but local media reports said a crack was detected in the block on Tuesday. Rescue workers are using concrete cutters and cranes to dig through the rubble, BBC correspondent says.


There are some reports that factory owners appeared to have ignored a warning not to allow their workers into the building after the crack was detected.  Police told local media that the rear of the building suddenly started to collapse on Wednesday morning and within a short time the whole structure - except the main pillar and parts of the front wall - had caved-in, triggering panic. Only the ground floor of the Rana Plaza in Sava remained intact after the collapse, officials said, as army and fire service rescuers equipped with concrete cutters and cranes dug through rubble to pull out.

These should be termed more as ‘wilful negligence’ rather than accidents – in Nov last, a fire at a garment factory in a Dhaka suburb killed at least 110 people and triggered a public outcry about safety standards in the industry. Bangladesh has one of the largest garment industries in the world, providing competitively priced clothes for major Western retailers which benefit from its widespread low-cost labour.

Earlier this month, 4th of April 2013 to be precise, a building collapsed on tribal land in Mumbra, a suburb of Thane.  In what has been called the worst building collapse in the area, 74 people sadly lost their lives while more than 100 survived. That building reportedly was under construction and did not have an occupancy certificate for its 100 to 150 low- to middle-income residents.  Subsequent reports unearthed that the building was illegally constructed because standard practices were not followed for safe, lawful construction; land acquisition and resident occupancy. By 11 April, a total of 15 suspects were arrested including builders, engineers, municipal officials and other responsible parties.
A campaign began on 9 April by the Thane Municipal Corporation to demolish area illegal buildings, focusing first on "dangerous" buildings.  In wake of collapse, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC)  started a 24-hour call centre to receive complaints regarding the unauthorised constructions in the city ~ clearly giving hint of the menacing proportions of such illegal activity in the city.

Sad, that human life has no value here, especially, if those were to be of the poor

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th April 2013.

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