23/12/2015 09:59 GMT

Rana Plaza Disaster: 41 People Charged With Murder After More Than 1,000 Die In Clothing Factory Collapse

Murder charges have been brought against 41 people in relation to the Rana Plaza disaster, in which more than 1,000 people were killed when a clothing factory collapsed.

A court in Bangladesh has also issued arrest warrants for 24 of the defendants who have reportedly absconded.

The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory, on the outskirts of Dhaka on 24 April 2013, is widely thought to be one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

At least 1,135 people died in the tragedy and more than 2,000 people were injured.

Rescue workers and volunteers search for victims amongst the debris of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in April 2013

The main defendant in the case is Sohel Rana, the building's owner, who was charged with murder in June 2015 after authorities found him in hiding.

Of the other 40 defendants, 16 are on bail and 24 are said to have fled. If convicted they could face life in prison, reports The Independent.

Sohel Rana, the owner of the Rana Plaza building that collapsed in 2013

“The court accepted the charge sheet against 41 people who have been charged with murder over the Rana Plaza disaster,” said prosecutor Anwarul Kabir, reports The Guardian.

“The court issued arrest warrants against 24 of them as they have absconded. It also ordered the seizure of their property."

According to prosecutors the trial is now expected to start by April 2016.

Following the Rana Plaza disaster many reforms were made to the clothing industry in Bangladesh.

However, New York University recently released a report containing data on factories in Bangladesh that had been made available following the disaster. They found that: "almost three million workers are excluded from the building and safety programs initiated by foreign brands in the wake of Rana Plaza."


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