By Emran Hossain
The stench of decomposing bodies is hindering rescue efforts in Bangladesh’s garment industry hub of Savar, witnesses say, as untold numbers of dead and dying workers lie buried under the rubble of a collapsed building.
“You cannot stand the stench long,” Selim Ahmed, a local journalist, told The Huffington Post from the scene Friday. “It seems several thousand bodies are rotting under the debris.”
Hope of finding more survivors is fading fast amid the stumbling rescue effort. At least 304 people had been confirmed dead as of Friday night, and it remains unclear how many more remain buried.
Meanwhile, thousands of garment workers took to the streets in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country Friday to protest the deaths. At least three garment factories were set on fire, several others were vandalized and dozens ofvehicles were damaged during the frenzied protests, which began in the morning and went on for several hours.
The victims are thought to be mostly garment workers, because the workers were required to come to work Wednesday, the day of the collapse, despite large cracks that had developed in the building the previous day. The building, called Rana Plaza, housed five garment factories, a bank and commercial shops. Those employed by the bank or by the commercial shops did not turn up for work as the building was already found vulnerable. The building owner, Sohel Rana, who declined to shut down his establishment after it developed cracks, has been on the run since the collapse.