Death Toll at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh Reaches 717
May, 07 2013 Share
As of May 7, 8 p.m. Bangladesh time (10:00 a.m. Eastern Time), 717 bodies have been recovered from the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza building, which housed five garment factories.
Only about half of the Rana Plaza rubble has been removed. Five to six hundred workers may still be missing. (This estimate is based on the number of families who are still searching for the bodies of their loved ones. The death toll could surpass 1,000.
Four hundred workers remain hospitalized, many with very severe injuries and amputated limbs.
Six hundred workers have been released from the hospital. We estimate that some 200 of these workers are in need of emergency assistance. They have no money for food, rent, medicines and the medical care they urgently need.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) attempted to shortchange the Rana Plaza garment workers, who were supposed to receive their wages on Tuesday, May 7. The workers were due their wages for the month of April, including overtime, which totaled between 8,000 and 8,500 taka ($102.35 to $110.15 U.S.) per worker. Also, given that the Rana Plaza factories will certainly not open in the immediate future, the workers are legally due their four months' severance pay, which would total between 4,200 and 4,500 taka ($53.73-$57.60 U.S.) per month, and between $214.92 and $230.28 per worker for the four month due them.
The workers and families of the missing blocked the Dhaka-Savar-Aricha Highway for two hours demanding to receive the legal wages and severance pay due them.
Bangladeshi trade unions are now demanding that the base wage for sewing helpers be immediately raised to 8,000 taka, or $102.35 per month-which would amount to a wage of 49 cents an hour. At the Rana Plaza factories, the garment worker helpers were paid just 12 cents an hour.