Bangladesh building collapse search to end
13 May 2013, 17:37
Dhaka - Bangladesh's army announced on Monday that it was wrapping up its search for bodies following last month's collapse of a garment factory complex, saying that it now believed a total of 1 127 people were killed.
The army general in charge of the marathon recovery effort said that he was now handing over operational control to civilian administrators and expected his troops to be back in their barracks within the next 24 hours.
"The army's recovery operation is almost over," Brigadier General Siddiqul Alam said.
"We're in the process of handing over the site to the district administration and we'll leave for our cantonment by 14:00 tomorrow [0800 GMT]," Alam said, adding that the overall death toll from the 24 April disaster now stands at 1 127.
"We don't think there are any more bodies in the rubble. We're now removing cars from the basement," he said.
Another senior officer said that he expected the handover at the site in the town of Savar, just outside Dhaka, to be completed by 6:00 am on Tuesday.
"After that we'll hold a prayer service at the site seeking blessings for the dead at about 12"45 and then we'll depart," said Colonel Ibne Fazal Shaikhuzzaman.
The collapse of the nine-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five separate garment factories, was the worst industrial disaster in Bangladeshi history and the latest in a long line of deadly tragedies to blight the textile industry.
A fire at a garment factory in Dhaka last November killed 111 workers.