Collapse of Rana Plaza

Rahul Talukder

2013 - 2014

On 24 April, an eight-story building collapsed in Savar, near the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, killing more than 1,100 people. Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories, had been designed with only six stories and intended for shops and offices only. Two further stories had been added, and the collapse was in part blamed on the weight and vibration of the garment factories’ heavy machinery. Rana Plaza had been briefly shut down the day before, when cracks appeared in its walls and pillars, but factory workers had been called back in, hours before the building fell. Rescue operations took nearly three weeks. Workers in Rana Plaza made clothes for popular Western brands. The disaster highlighted the hazardous conditions workers face in Bangladesh’s €16 billion garment industry, where many are paid as little as €30 a month. Only a few of the brands using the factories attended a meeting of the world’s largest retailers in Geneva, in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse, and four made contributions to a compensation fund for victims and their families.

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  • A woman grieves for a missing family member who used to work in one of the garment factories of Rana Plaza.

  • Two seriously injured victims comfort each other at the orthopedics and rehabilitation institute in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  • Lifeless bodies of the victims of Rana Plaza lie in the hospital morgue.

  • Rescue workers dug tunnels through the collapsed floors attempting to find survivors.

  • Rescue workers work together to save the life of a garment worker found after 78 hours.

  • A rescued worker screams at the first sight of light after being trapped for 73 hours inside the rubble.

  • An old man sleeps on coffins at a makeshift morgue in a schoolyard near Rana Plaza.

  • A rescue worker inspects the site before a rescue operation with heavy machinery begins.

  • Rescue workers attending an official meeting besides the collapsed building.

  • A tired rescue worker is taking rest during operations in the collapsed building.

  • A woman weeps and holds the picture of a loved one who was a victim of the building collapse.

  • View of the collapsed building from a nearby rooftop.

  • A rescue worker searching for any sign of life in the last accessible floor of the collapsed building.

  • Rescuers carry a survivor pulled out from the rubble after 77 hours.

  • A woman was seen grieving over a missing family at the site of the former Rana Plaza in the 1st anniversary of Rana Plaza Disaster.