At least seven construction workers were killed after a warehouse with a roof under construction collapsed in Mongla, Bangladesh on 12 March.
At the time of collapse there were about 70 people working in the building, many of them on top of the roof. At least seven bodies of the dead workers have been recovered, more than 60 people were rescued and many hospitalized with different level of injuries. Rescue operations concluded.
The collapsed structure has been recently built and is owned by the Bangladeshi military welfare organization “Senakul Sansathan”. The factory where the warehouse was located is producing Elephant Brand cement, and has been involved in production since 1995.
The construction company building the roof was a local agent of China National Building Material Company Ltd., which received its contract through an international bidding.
Bangladesh has a poor record of building and fire safety standards. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka took away more than 1,130 garment workers’ lives on 24 April 2013.
Following this tragedy under the international public and union movement pressure over 180 global brands and retailers have signed the historic Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh with IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union, launching a major project to make the garment industry of Bangladesh safe and sustainable.
Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL General Secretary says, “The Accord made an immediate effect and decreased the risks in the garment industry of Bangladesh, even though there is still a long way to go before we can claim the Bangladesh garment industry is safe and sustainable. The new tragedy at Mongla proves that the Bangladesh government must start immediately building similar safety arrangements for all sectors of Bangladeshi economy. Workers have the right to return home after their shift alive and healthy, no matter whether employed in construction, garment, cement or any other sector.”