Bangladesh Toll Passes 600

Architect says Rana Plaza was never meant to hold industrial equipment

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted May 5, 2013 8:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – Bangladesh officials have now pulled more than 600 bodies from the rubble of the garment factory that collapsed last month, with the official death toll now standing at 610. The collapse now stands as one of the worst industrial accidents ever, reports the AP, and the final body count is still anybody's guess, with the stench of decomposing bodies still overwhelming the scene. More than 200 bodies have been recovered since Wednesday alone.

Compounding the tragedy is the architect who designed the Rana Plaza, who tells the AP today that the building was never meant to handle commercial equipment, much less the three floors that were illegally added. "We designed the building to have three stories for shops and another two for offices. I don't know how the additional floors were added and how factories were allowed on the top floors," he said. Government officials are also blaming substandard building materials. An engineer who helped add the three illegal floors has been charged.

A woman is comforted as she grieves after identifying the body of her daughter, a victim of the garment factory collapse, Sunday, May 5, 2013 in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
A woman is comforted as she grieves after identifying the body of her daughter, a victim of the garment factory collapse, Sunday, May 5, 2013 in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A boy waits by a pickup truck that is transporting the body of a victim from the rubble of the garment factory collapse, Sunday, May 5, 2013, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
A boy waits by a pickup truck that is transporting the body of a victim from the rubble of the garment factory collapse, Sunday, May 5, 2013, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Children play while in the building's corridor, people identify bodies pulled out of the rubble of the garment factory collapse, Sunday, May 5, 2013 in Savar, Bangladesh.
Children play while in the building's corridor, people identify bodies pulled out of the rubble of the garment factory collapse, Sunday, May 5, 2013 in Savar, Bangladesh.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A women covers her nose as she watches people try to identify dead bodies at the makeshift morgue, Sunday May 5, 2013, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
A women covers her nose as she watches people try to identify dead bodies at the makeshift morgue, Sunday May 5, 2013, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.   (AP Photo/Ismail Ferdous)
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