Factory Collapse in Bangladesh
Update from Rana Plaza: “How Will I Raise My Children?” (June 24, 2013)
On Wednesday, April 24 at 9 a.m. an eight-story building named Rana Plaza in the Savar neighborhood on the outskirts of Dhaka collapsed with some 3,500 garment workers inside.
The deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry left 1,132 young Bangladeshi woman and men dead and 2,500 seriously injured —— missing arms and legs, paralyzed, suffering head injuries. Many workers are still missing. The Institute established Bangladesh Injured Worker Relief Fund to help those in need of emergency assistance. Find out why now, why your gift is vital and urgent, and why the Institute is the best channel through which you can help these workers in Kernaghan's letter.
The workers knew the building was dangerous. On Tuesday, April 23, the day before the collapse, huge cracks had appeared in the building and a local inspector ordered it evacuated. But on Wednesday, April 24, they were told they would not be paid for the month unless they returned to work. An hour later the building collapsed.
"Suddenly we saw our floor was collapsing, going doing, and falling apart very fast. In a minute, I was knocked down in a dark place... I was suffocating. There was no air and we were trapped in darkness," said Jannat, a survivor who worked for the New Wave Style factory.
Rana Plaza housed five garment factories, New Wave Style, Ether Tex, Canton Tech Apparel, Phantom Apparels and New Wave Bottoms. They produced clothing for, among others: Benetton, The Children's Place, Cato Corp, "Joe Fresh" owned by the Canadian company, Loblaws and also sold in J.C. Penney stores, the UK company Primark's "Denim Co" and "Cedarwood State" labels, "Papaya Denim" of UK's Matalan company, "Free Style Baby" sold at Spanish retail chain "El Corte Ingles," and the Spanish work clothing label, Velilla.
The garment workers of the Rana Plaza factories were paid starvation wages-14 cent to 26 cents an hour. They worked 13 to 14 ½ hour shifts, 6 and 7 days a week.
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