- More than 60 are injured, many critically, official says
- The cement factory was owned by a Bangladeshi army welfare organization
- In recent years, Bangladesh has had other deadly incidents at factories
Many of those injured were in critical condition, said Mohammed Bakir Hossain, the top government physician of Bagerhat district.
Mohammad Niazmur Rahman, the fire and civil defense official coordinating the search and rescue effort, said early Thursday evening that two people had been pulled alive from the rubble and as many as 30 others are believed to be still trapped.
Deputy inspector general of police of Khulna range SM Monir Uz Zaman said the number of those still trapped was unclear "as we're not sure how many people were working inside."
The collapse took place around 1 p.m. (3 a.m. ET) in Mongla, a port city in the Asian nation's Bagerhat District. The factory is owned by Sena Kalyan Sangstha
, a welfare organization for former Bangladeshi troops and their beneficiaries, according to Rahman and other local officials.
Video from Boishakhi TV showed medical workers tending to the injured as they were wheeled into a local medical facility caked in dust.
Deadly incidents at factories and other buildings, sadly, are nothing new in Bangladesh.
The worst happened on April 24, 2013, when a nine-story building that housed five garment factories collapsed
. Rescuers managed to save the lives of more than 2,400 people, but more than 1,100 died in the horrific accident.
And a November 2012 apparel factory fire on Dhaka's outskirts killed at least 117 people
, some of whom jumped from the building to escape the flames. Most of the dead were women, almost half of them burned so badly that DNA tests were needed to identify them.
That blaze led to the convictions of 13 people for gross negligence of safety measures and spurred widespread criticism about the state of workers' rights in Bangladesh.
The government responded by revamping laws so that workers no longer need approval from employers to form trade unions, and every factory that sells within the country also has to pledge 5% of their profits toward a workers' welfare fund. The government also boosted minimum wages from $38 to around $68 per month.
Yet this hasn't stopped more deadly incidents, including the January deaths of at least 13 people when a fire broke out inside a Dhaka factory