shutterstock_122234191The official death toll from a building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh has surpassed 700 as more bodies were recovered on Tuesday.

Officials said that the death toll had climbed to 705. It is the country’s worst industrial disaster and the worst disaster in the history of the garment industry. Survivors of the eight story building collapse that housed five garment factories and other garment workers blocked a major highway to demand compensation and better working conditions.

Nine people have been arrested in connection with the collapse. An initial investigation found that the top four floors of the eight story building had been constructed illegally without permits. The factories also opened despite a crack discovered in the building. Approximately 80% of the garment factory workforce in Bangladesh are women who are often responsible for providing for their families. Under grueling working conditions, workers in garment factories can make as little as $26 a month.

Media Resources: Associated Press 5/7/2013; BBC 5/7/2013; Feminist Newswire 5/3/2013

Aerial of Dhaka, the Capital of Bangladesh from Shutterstock

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