Owners in Hiding as Building Collapse Toll Hits 175
Fate of hundreds remains unknown in Bangladesh
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 25, 2013 4:59 AM CDT
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)

(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.