Today (24 April) marks the ninth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, killing 1,138 people and injuring over two thousand others. Most of the victims were garment workers who worked in one of the five factories in the eight-storey building.
Not only the country's deadliest industrial accident but the Rana Plaza disaster is also considered the deadliest disaster in the world garment industry.
The building contained clothing factories, a bank, apartments, and several shops. The shops and the bank on the lower floors were immediately closed after cracks were discovered in the building. The building owners ignored warnings to avoid using the building after cracks had appeared the day before. Garment workers were ordered to return the following day, and the building collapsed during the morning rush-hour.
One of the garment manufacturers' websites indicates that more than half of the victims were women, along with a number of their children who were in nursery facilities within the building.
The specialists have described Rana Plaza disaster, as “not an accident” but “a man-made disaster”. The causes included shoddy construction, a building with too many floors and too much heavy equipment for the structure to withstand.
During the disaster, the building housed five garment factories that manufactured goods for major retail companies in Europe and North America.
The incident shook Bangladesh`s $28 billion garment industry, the second-largest in the world behind China. It drew attention to horrific conditions for factory employees, and raised questions about transparency in the global garment industry in which they work.