Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2013 Contents A39
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
TORONTO---A Canadian company said yesterday
it will provide compensation for the families of vic-
tims who worked in the collapsed Bangladeshi gar-
ment factory that made products for its Joe Fresh
Loblaw Inc said it aims to ensure that victims and
their families "receive benefits now and in the future."
At least 382 people have died.
Spokeswoman Julija Hunter said the company is
still working out the details, but plans to deliver sup-
port "in the best and most meaningful way possi-
The company also said it wants to drive change
to help prevent similar incidents in the future. Loblaw
was one of a group of companies that plan to meet
with the Retail Council of Canada to discuss how to
prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Bangladesh s garment industry was the third-
largest in the world in 2011, after China and Italy,
having grown rapidly in the past decade.
Among the other garment makers in the building
were Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac, Ether Tex,
New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms. Altogether,
they produced several million shirts, pants and other
garments a year.
The New Wave companies, according to their Web
site, make clothing for several major North American
and European retailers. Britain s Primark has also
acknowledged it was using a factory in Rana Plaza.
It said in a statement yesterday that it is providing
emergency aid and will pay compensation to victims
who worked for its supplier.
"Primark notes the fact that its supplier shared
the building with those of other retailers. We are
fully aware of our responsibility. We urge these other
retailers to come forward and offer assistance," it
Many other retailers have distanced themselves
from the disaster, saying they were not involved with
the factories at the time of the collapse or had not
recently ordered garments from them.
Wal-Mart said none of its clothing had been autho-
rised to be made in the facility, but it is investigating
whether there was any unauthorised production.
SAVAR---A Bangladesh court yesterday
gave police 15 days to interrogate the owner
of a building that collapsed last week,
killing at least 382 people, as rescuers used
heavy machinery to cut through the
destroyed structure after giving up hopes
of finding any more survivors.
Mohammed Sohel Rana, who was arrested
as he tried to flee to India, will be held for
questioning on charges of negligence, illegal
construction and forcing workers to join
work. His father, Abdul Khaleque, was also
arrested on suspicion of aiding Rana to force
people to work in a dangerous building.
The illegally constructed, eight-story Rana
Plaza collapsed in a heap Wednesday morn-
ing as thousands of people worked inside
in five garment factories. About 2,500 sur-
vivors have been accounted for.
Rana was brought to the Dhaka Metro-
politan Magistrate s Court in a bullet-proof
vest, and led away to an unknown detention
place after the magistrate granted a police
request to hold him longer before filing for-
mal charges. The crimes he is accused of
carry a maximum punishment of seven
years. More charges could be added later.
The collapse was the deadliest disaster
to hit Bangladesh s garment industry, which
is worth US$20 billion annually and supplies
In renewed anger against conditions in
garment factories, a mainstay of Bangladesh s
economy, hundreds of workers poured into
the streets in the Dhaka suburb of Ashulia
and set fire to an ambulance yesterday, the
Independent TV network reported. They
also tried to set fire to a factory, it said.
Authorities shut down all garment factories
in the Ashulia and Gazipur industrial suburbs,
including one that had reportedly developed
cracks and was evacuated earlier.
Volunteers, army personnel and firefighters have
worked around the clock, mostly using their hands
and light equipment to pull out survivors.
"We are proceeding cautiously. If there is still a
soul alive, we will try to rescue that person," said
army spokesman Shahinul Islam.
However, Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, chief of the
fire brigade at the scene, said there was little hope
of finding anyone alive. "Our men went inside and
saw some dead bodies in the ground floor. But no
one was seen alive," he said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier ordered the
arrest of building owner Rana, a small-time political
operative from her Awami League party s youth wing.
He was brought back by helicopter from a border
town to Dhaka.
He had permission to build a five-story building
but added three more floors illegally. He last appeared
in public on Tuesday in front of the Rana Plaza after
huge cracks appeared in the building.
Witnesses said Rana assured tenants then that the
building was safe. Police, however, ordered an evac-
uation. A bank and some first-floor shops closed,
but managers of the garment factories on the upper
floors told workers to continue their shifts.
Hours later, the Rana Plaza was reduced to rubble,
crushing most victims under massive blocks of con-
Bangladesh police interrogate building's owner
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