Bosses at high street giant Primark said they were "shocked and saddened" to hear of the deaths of almost 150 people following the collapse of an eight-storey building in Bangladesh.

It emerged last night that the budget clothing chain occupied a floor of the building, and that workers were suppliers to the brand.

bangladesh

bangladesh

Bangladeshi Army personnel and civilian volunteers work on the scene

In a statement released on their website, a Primark spokesman said: "The company is shocked and deeply saddened by this appalling incident at Savar, near Dhaka, and expresses its condolences to all of those involved.

"Primark confirms that one of its suppliers occupied the second floor of the eight storey building, which housed several suppliers to the garment industry making clothing for a number of brands.

"Primark has been engaged for several years with NGOs and other retailers to review the Bangladeshi industry's approach to factory standards. Primark will push for this review to also include building integrity.

"Meanwhile Primark's ethical trade team is at this moment working to collect information, assess which communities the workers come from, and to provide support where possible."

bangladesh

bangladesh

A length of textile is used as a slide to rescue workers

Bonmarché, who were also supplied clothes made in the factory, said their "thoughts are with the victims and their families."

In a statement they said "We are shocked by the news from Bangladesh and our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible tragedy and their families. We can confirm that New Wave is a supplier to Bonmarché and we are currently in touch with our agents there to gather further information and offer our assistance."

The eight-storey building, Rana Plaza, came crashing down in the early morning rush hour in Saver on Wednesdat just outside the capital Dhaka.

Police sources told the BBC that at least 147 people had died in the incident, which also left hundreds injured. Up to 2,000 people were working at the plant at the time of the collapse, the cause of which is as yet unknown. Around 600 people had to be rescued from the building.

Cracks in the building had been reported the day before the collapse but managers had forced workers to return.

The FT reports two affiliated factories, New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms, operated out of the complex.

Last year a fire in another garment factory killed at least 117 people.

Despite the dubious safety record in the region many Western companies continue to use Bangladeshi suppliers.

The country's garment industry is second only in size to China's, yet Bangladeshi workers are the lowest paid in the world.