Rage, Stench of Death at Collapsed Factory in Bangladesh

Hopes fade, grief reigns as toll approaches 400 with hundreds still missing

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 29, 2013 6:41 AM CDT | Updated Apr 29, 2013 7:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – With close to 400 people killed in the Bangladesh building collapse, it's being called the deadliest garment industry accident ever, the New York Times reports. Rescuers have saved some 2,500 people, but they doubt they'll get much further, leaving thousands of grief-stricken family members clutching only photos of their missing loved ones as the "overpowering" stench of death hangs in the air. "We are giving the highest priority to saving people, but there is little hope of finding anyone alive," says an army spokesman. With cranes taking on the rubble, authorities called on rescuers to leave last night, the BBC notes.

Protests continue to rage amid word that the building violated code and stayed open despite known structural problems. Today, paramilitary troops were sent to calm the demonstrations, which saw an ambulance set afire and cars smashed, Reuters reports. The country's leading opposition party has urged a national strike Thursday as concerns over the rescue emerge. Britain offered to help with the effort, but it was turned down, UK officials said. Meanwhile, the Times paints a harrowing picture of the tragedy's aftermath, with so many still missing: "It would be better if you killed me than if you asked me to go away," one mother told a soldier. Click through for the full piece.

Bangladeshi relatives of missing workers in a building that collapsed Wednesday hold pictures of their family members in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, April 28, 2013.
Bangladeshi relatives of missing workers in a building that collapsed Wednesday hold pictures of their family members in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, April 28, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
Bangladeshi soldiers and firefighters carry a burned and injured colleague after a fire in a tunnel that rescue workers were using to search for survivors, Sunday, April 28, 2013.
Bangladeshi soldiers and firefighters carry a burned and injured colleague after a fire in a tunnel that rescue workers were using to search for survivors, Sunday, April 28, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
Rescue and recovery personnel prepare to dislodge the ceiling of the garment factory building in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, April 29, 2013.
Rescue and recovery personnel prepare to dislodge the ceiling of the garment factory building in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, April 29, 2013.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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