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Death toll from Bangladesh building collapse tops 500

May 3, 2013 at 12:43 PM

DHAKA, Bangladesh, May 3 (UPI) -- The death toll from the building collapse in Bangladesh last week topped 500, officials said Friday.

Recovery workers found dozens of decomposing bodies in the rubble, bringing the count to at least 501, CNN reported.

Authorities say more than 2,400 people have been rescued from the wreckage since the building collapsed April 24 in Savar, a suburb of Dhaka. The collapse is Bangladesh's deadliest industrial disaster

The number of corpses removed from the site has risen since workers began using machinery to move heavy slabs of concrete.

The collapse of the building in Rana Plaza that held five garment factories and thousands of workers sparked days of protest throughout Bangladesh as demonstrators expressed anger over the unsafe working conditions in the garment industry.

In an interview Thursday with CNN, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheik Hasina acknowledged the industry has been plagued by problems but said her government was moving quickly to remedy them.

The Bangladeshi government has been criticized by labor organization that say it failed to address lax safety standards despite a string of fatal events in the country's garment industry.

Six people, including the building owner and three factory owners, have been arrested.

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