An eight-story building collapsed Wednesday on the outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital, killing more than 70 people and injuring hundreds, the national news agency reported.
Images broadcast by local media showed dust rising from the wreckage as rescue workers scrambled over the tangled mass of concrete and rushed injured people from the scene.
Authorities fear many more people are still trapped inside the ruins of the commercial building, which housed several garment factories and a shopping mall, the agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) reported.
Health Minister A.F.M. Ruhal Huq said the death toll exceeded 70, the agency reported, and an army officer overseeing the rescue effort said that at least 700 people had been injured.
The collapse is the latest disaster to befall the garment industry in Bangladesh. A fire at a clothing factory in a suburb of Dhaka in November killed at least 112 people.
More than 70 people died the last major building collapse in Bangladesh in 2005, according to BSS. That disaster involved a multistory garment factory in the same area as the building that gave way Wednesday.
Garments make up 80% of Bangladesh’s $24 billion of annual exports.
The country has about 4,500 garment factories, where workers make clothes for brands including Tesco, Walmart, JC Penney, Kohl’s and Carrefour.
Journalist Farid Ahmed contributed to this report.
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