Reuters

Workers demand safer conditions; government action after the worst accident in the country's short history.

Dhaka exploded in protests this week, as Bangladesh's many factory workers called for justice after a building collapse killed at least 389 workers.

Many of the men and women killed were between the ages of 18 and 22. A week later, families are still camped out in the rubble waiting for some sign of their loved ones. According to CNN, "a strong stench of rotting human flesh has taken over the scene." They write:

Some relatives have lost work while waiting at the site. Many sleep on the street or quietly clutch a photo. One man was talking to himself with a photo of his son in his hand. "Yesterday a woman told me, 'I want the dead body of my daughter so I can take her dead body home to bury,' " [Ali] Khan, [editor of the local paper] said.

The collapse of the nine-story building was the worst incident of this kind in the country's history, but by no means exceptional -- just a couple of months ago a factory fire killed scores.

The incident has sparked protests around Dhaka. Workers marched outside of their factories on Monday; some opposition turned violent. Bangladeshi government officials have promised a nationwide probe of the country's garment factories and the clothing chain Primark has said it will compensate to the families of the women who lost their lives. The company occupied a floor in the collapsed building.

Below, scenes from Dhaka via Reuters.

Relative show pictures of garment workers who are missing, during a protest to demand capital punishment for those responsible for the collapse of the Rana Plaza building, in Savar, outside Dhaka. (Andrew Biraj/Reuters)

Relatives of missing garment workers stop an army jeep during a protest to demand capital punishment for those responsible for the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, outside Dhaka. (/Khurshed Rinku/Reuters)

Garment workers shout slogans as they set fire on wood during the blockage of a street to demand the arrest of those responsible for the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar. (Reuters)

A worker cleans up a restaurant after garment workers broke the glass at Gulshan in Dhaka. (Reuters)

About the Author

Amanda Erickson

Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab. 

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