Bangladesh building collapse: Police, workers saw cracks in building the day before it collapsed (VIDEO)


Bangladeshi Army personnel and civilian volunteers work on the scene at a building collapse in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, on April 24, 2013.


Munir uz Zaman

Survivors of the Bangladesh building collapse have said they saw cracks in the building the day before it came crashing down, and footage has surfaced of police inspecting cracks in the buiding just hours before the collapse claimed some 300 lives.

Officers had also been called to inspect the building's cracks the day before the collapse. Dhaka police said their visit to the Rana Plaza building in Savar had led them to order it evacuated, but that the factories working inside ignored it.

According to survivors, employees working in the building had gone to their superiors on Tuesday because of concerns over the number of cracks in the building. Factory owners told workers the building was safe and that they should report for work as usual. The building collapsed the next day.

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Footage from the Telegraph has now emerged apparently capturing the police review of the building. Also shown in the video are cracks and blemishes on the building's interior walls and supports.

An official with Savar's engineering department said the Rana Plaza's owner had originally been permitted to construct a five-story building. An additional three stories were added illegally.

The country's home minister said "the culprits would be punished."

It's a matter of debate where the responsibility for the collapse lies, however. Many reports have criticized demand from international clothing brands as the root of hazardous environments for garment factory workers.

The Rana Plaza was home to factories that produced clothing for retailers in Europe and North America. One of the largest, Primark, released a statement on its Facebook page saying its "ethical trade team" is investigating the incident.

The building collapse in Savar, an industrial suburb of the capital city of Dhaka, is the worst disaster to happen in Bangladesh's garment industry since a fire five months prior killed 112 people.