Owners in Hiding as Building Collapse Toll Hits 175

Fate of hundreds remains unknown in Bangladesh

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 25, 2013 4:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – The death toll has risen to at least 175 in a building collapse outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the whereabouts of perhaps hundreds of people remain unknown. A rescue operation continues, with more survivors thought to be trapped in the building, home to garment factories. Some 2,000 were inside the building during yesterday's collapse. Screams were audible in the rubble as rescuers passed supplies to those trapped, the BBC reports.

More than 1,000 have been hospitalized following the collapse. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a national day of mourning today. Cracks were detected in the building earlier this week, but factory owners reportedly dismissed warnings to keep people out of the building. Now, owners are in hiding, according to reports. "The culprits (will) be punished," says the home minister, noting that the building didn't adhere to codes. The disaster is fueling concerns about the garment industry in the country; Walmart is looking into whether it had ties to the site.

A crowd gathers to watch rescue work at the site of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
A crowd gathers to watch rescue work at the site of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
A Bangladeshi woman injured in a building that collapsed receives treatment at a hospital in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
A Bangladeshi woman injured in a building that collapsed receives treatment at a hospital in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
A survivor cries after she was rescued from the site of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
A survivor cries after she was rescued from the site of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
Rescuers carry a survivor out from the debris of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Rescuers carry a survivor out from the debris of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
Bodies of victims of a building collapse lie numbered in a row in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Bodies of victims of a building collapse lie numbered in a row in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
Bangladeshi rescuers carry the body of a victim at the site of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi rescuers carry the body of a victim at the site of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
Bangladesh rescuers look for survivors and victims at the site of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Bangladesh rescuers look for survivors and victims at the site of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
A Bangladeshi rescuer looking for survivors emerges from beneath a concrete slab.
A Bangladeshi rescuer looking for survivors emerges from beneath a concrete slab.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
Bangladeshi people watch as rescuers take out the body of a woman from the site of a building that collapsed Wednesday.
Bangladeshi people watch as rescuers take out the body of a woman from the site of a building that collapsed Wednesday.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
Rescuers lower down a survivor from the debris of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Rescuers lower down a survivor from the debris of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
Bangladeshis walk past bodies of victims to identify relatives who died in a building collapse in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Bangladeshis walk past bodies of victims to identify relatives who died in a building collapse in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
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