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Death Toll Tops 800 In Bangladesh Factory Collapse

Posted: May 8, 2013

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The latest death toll comes as recovery efforts continue at the eight-story complex that collapsed last month.

Bangladeshi rescue and army personnel on Wednesday continue recovery operations at the site of the building collapse near Dhaka.

Bangladeshi rescue and army personnel on Wednesday continue recovery operations at the site of the building collapse near Dhaka. Munir Uz Zaman

Authorities in Bangladesh say the death toll in last month's collapse of an eight-story garment factory complex has surpassed 800 as dozens more bodies were pulled from the rubble on Wednesday.

The latest corpses to be recovered were so badly decomposed that they were being sent to a lab for DNA identification, police said, according to The Associated Press.

Several people, including the building's owner, have been arrested in connection with the disaster, which many survivors say was due to negligence.

The April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, where apparel was made for several Western retailers, has sparked an international outcry over substandard working conditions in Bangladesh, where workers have some of the lowest wages in the world and the garment industry is largely unregulated.

On Wednesday, a European Union delegation was dispatched to the country to urge the government to "act immediately" to improve working conditions, the AP says.

The BBC says:

"Officials say about 2,500 people were injured in the collapse and that 2,437 people have been rescued.

"Bangladesh has shut down 18 garment plants for safety reasons since the Rana Plaza disaster, the Bangladeshi textile minister has confirmed."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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