Two weeks on from the building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh, bodies are still being recovered from the rubble. Some 1,038 workers have died and over 3,000 people are injured. This is one of the worst industrial accidents ever.
The building collapsed on 24 April at 9am. In the aftermath of the disaster rescue workers — including 200 ActionAid trained volunteers — managed to save 2,400 people from the rubble. Two weeks on there is no hope that survivors remain inside and the rescue operation has become a grim struggle to recover the bodies of the victims.
Family members continue to line the streets around the disaster, hoping for news of their loved ones and for the dignity of providing them with a proper burial. The number of people still missing is uncertain, but according to some sources it is as many as 1,000.
Bangladesh earns nearly $20 billion a year from exports of the garment products, mainly to Europe and the USA. The Rana Plaza building housed five garment factories making clothing bound for major retailers around the world. Many of these factories supplied Western retailers and clothing brands, who are being globally criticised for putting heavy pressure on prices, resulting in bad pay and conditions for workers.
ActionAid fundraisers Victoria Butler Cole and her sister-in-law Imogen set up a fundraising campaign called the T-Shirt Tax to do something to help. The T-Shirt Tax is designed to give something back to people in developing countries, people who often pay the price for affordable fashion.
Imogen says: “We should be held accountable because we’ve been benefitting from the clothes produced at cheap prices in Bangladesh.”
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