Bangladesh mourns victims six years after Rana Plaza factory collapse

Dhaka: People in Bangladesh paid homage to the victims of a deadly factory building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people six years ago by placing flowers at a makeshift mausoleum near the disaster site on Wednesday.
Relatives and friends, gathered at the accident site at Savar on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, were seen praying in tears for those lost when the Rana Plaza building caved in on April 24, 2013.
“The government must work sincerely to bring those responsible for the deaths of so many people to justice,” said a middle-aged woman, who lost her only son in the disaster, as she sat by the accident site.
Labour rights activists and garment workers at rallies in Dhaka demanded the speedy trial of the building owner, Sohel Rana, who along with 38 others was indicted for culpable homicide.
Rana was arrested four days after the building collapse, but he has not been sentenced yet.
A small group of survivors began a hunger strike at the site to press for 11 demands, including life-long medical care for survivors, their rehabilitation, and jobs for the families of those killed in the collapse.
“We will continue the strike until our demands are met,” said Mahmudul Hasan Ridoy, who lost one of his hands in what was one of the world’s biggest industrial disasters.
Nearly 2,500 people were injured.
Non-governmental organisation ActionAid said 51 per cent of those people have been unable to go back to work in the factories because of physical incapability and trauma.
In a survey of 200 survivors, only 15.5 per cent had returned to work.
Meanwhile, a leading human rights watchdog placed the blame for enduring poor working conditions for garment workers on the global clothing and footwear brands at the top of the production chain.
Under pressure to lower prices and speed up production, factories are turning to abusive cost-cutting methods that harm workers, Human Rights Watch said in the report, released on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the tragedy.
The eight-storey building in Savar had housed five factories that produced garments for Western brands. — dpa