By Emran Hossain and Dave Jamieson
Wednesday, April 24
The number of dead continues to rise in Bangladesh as rescuers sort through the debris of an eight-story building that collapsed Wednesday morning, claiming at least 123 lives so far in just the latest workplace disaster to hit the country.
The victims appear to be mostly poor garment workers employed in the building known as Rana Plaza. According to reports out of Bangladesh, the facility had developed cracks in its facade on Tuesday, drawing a visit from local government officials.
Although the facility houses a number of different businesses, including a bank and shops, it appears that workers employed at the garment manufacturers in the building were some of the only people who showed up for work on Wednesday. The building collapsed around 9 a.m. The bank, Brac Bank, had asked its employees to stay away from the building due to the cracks.
After the collapse, rescuers could hear the cries and prayers of victims inside the rubble, and they struggled to get water to those who were still alive. Television reports noted that emergency responders appeared ill-equipped to handle such a disaster. The Bangladeshi army is leading the rescue operation.
“It seems only 20 percent of the work has been completed. It will take days to complete the work,” Ashik Hossain, a journalist who was on the scene Wednesday, told HuffPost.