A fire has broken out at the scene of a building collapse in Bangladesh, forcing rescuers to halt their search for survivors.
The blaze started because of sparks generated as rescuers tried to cut through a steel rod to reach a woman, officials said. The AFP news agency reported the woman died in fire.
The country’s fire chief Ahmed Ali told AFP she was the last known survivor in the building and died after rescuers had tried to reach her for more than 10 hours on Sunday.
At least three people were injured in the blaze.
It comes hours after the owner of the eight-storey factory complex, which toppled killing at least 377 people, was arrested along the country’s border with India.
Mohammed Sohel Rana was brought back to the capital Dhaka by helicopter and now faces charges over the disaster.
An announcement was also made by loudspeaker at the site of the building, where people cheered and clapped.
Mr Rana’s wife had already been detained – but he had not been seen since the building toppled to the ground on Wednesday.
He reportedly had the approval to construct five floors but added three more illegally.
Hundreds of relatives of missing workers have been gathering at the site in the hope of finding their loved ones.
A further nine survivors were found on Sunday – in addition to the 29 rescued alive on Saturday.
However, hopes of finding more people trapped under the mound of broken concrete and metal are fading, with hundreds still missing.
“The chances of finding people alive are dimming, so we have to step up our rescue operation to save any valuable life we can,” said Major General Chowdhury Hassan Sohrawardi, co-ordinator of the operation.
It is the deadliest tragedy to hit Bangladesh’s clothing industry, which is worth $20bn (£13bn) a year.
On Saturday, police arrested three factory bosses as well as two engineers involved in approving the design of the Rana Plaza building in the Dhaka suburb of Savar.
It housed five clothing factories, employing a total of 3,122 staff.
It is not known how many workers were inside the structure when it collapsed. Some 2,500 survivors have been accounted for.
The three factory bosses arrested included Bazlus Samad, managing director of New Wave Apparels, Mahmudur Rahman Tapash, the company chairman, and Aminul Islam, chairman of Phantom Apparels.
Wednesday’s tragedy has sparked protests about the poor working conditions of workers who toil for as little as £25 a month to produce clothing for top international brands.
High street giant Primark – and Spain’s Mango – have confirmed their products were made in the block.
Protesters held a demonstration outside Primark’s flagship store in central London on Saturday to demand compensation for the workers who were killed.
- Related Stories:
- Bangladesh Building Collapse: Five In Custody
- Dhaka Factory: Rescuers Face Race Against Time
Article source: http://news.sky.com/story/1083965