Factory disaster survivors demand justice

Savar: Hundreds of Bangladeshis staged protests and tearful tributes at Rana Plaza on Tuesday on the fifth anniversary of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, when a textile factory complex collapsed and killed at least 1,130 people.
Survivors and relatives of the dead placed wreaths at a concrete hammer and sickle memorial while labour groups marked the anniversary by making new demands for justice.
Several people held photos of those unaccounted for since the collapse. About 3,500 workers were inside the complex making clothes for top western brands when tragedy struck.
More than 2,000 were injured in addition to the huge death toll. But a murder trial in the case has been repeatedly delayed and no one has so far been convicted.
Police said some 500 people held demonstrations and small marches on the highway in front of the ruins at the start of the day.
Others arrived as the day wore on, placing wreaths at the memorial and the unmarked graves of hundreds of workers whose mangled bodies were never identified.
Workers holding black flags placed wreaths and silently prayed at the graves. Union leaders and survivors have expressed anger at the slow pace of the trial of Sohel Rana, whose family owned the complex which collapsed after it was illegally extended.
“The injured workers have become the living dead. We demand the quick trial of the culprits. Five years have gone and yet there is hardly any progress in the murder trial,” said union leader Jolly Talukder. Talukder also demanded the release of some $14.5 million, which she said was donated to a government fund to help Rana Plaza victims. — AFP