The owner of a building that collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013 has been found guilty of illegal earnings.
Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza was sentenced by a Bangladesh court. The 2013 collapse was considered the country’s worst industrial disaster where more than a thousand garment workers were killed.
At the time of the collapse, 3000 workers were in the building and it was a difficult process for rescuers to locate and retrieve the survivors and those who perished. Over a thousand workers died, mostly garment workers, while 2,500 were injured when the building collapsed.
It is said that building codes were ignored and protections for workers not implemented because of intense competition to keep overseas contracts by reducing costs.
Mr. Rana is also facing other charges, including murder, for his involvement in the deaths of the workers. According to ABC, he could face the death penalty if found guilty.
Investigators initially filed charges of culpable homicide against him following police investigation which found that Mr. Rana and the management of the factories forced workers to enter the building despite their hesitation to work after cracks were noticed inside the premises the previous day.
Defence attorneys said Mr. Rana would appeal the verdict.
Bangladesh is the world’ second-largest apparel exporter of western brands. The 2013 incident highlighted the poor safety standards of the garment industry in the country, and while measures have been taken to ensure better worker conditions, many still argue that more could still be done.
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