Tarekul Alam of the Dhaka district administration’s control room, which was set up outside the horrendous tragedy site to coordinate the rescue operations, “the confirmed death toll stands at 1,126 with recovery of two more bodies by 3 p.m. ( local time) Sunday.”
He said 63 corpses have still been kept at the nearby Adharchandra High School ground for identification.
But the official said only a handful of bodies with which rescuers got mobile phones or identification cards are now being identified by their relatives.
“We are preserving tissue suitable for DNA test of the unidentified bodies, many of which have also been buried.”
Rescuers say the stench of decaying bodies still remained strong around the ruins of the sandwiched building Rana Plaza that crumbled like a pack of cards on April 24 at about 8:30 a.m. local time.
Rescuers have pulled alive 2,438 people including a female garment worker named Reshmi, a seamstress buried for days in the wreckage of the collapsed building at Savar on the outskirts of capital Dhaka.
It’s believed that many more bodies were expected to be found in the rubble as cranes and bulldozers cut through the mountain of concrete and mangled steels at the building’s basement where the ” last survivor” was discovered.
According to the officials, the recovery operation would likely end sometime on Monday as they expect to remove the entire debris from the catastrophe site within Monday.
“We’re near the end,” said an official who preferred to be unnamed.
An initial government probe has blamed vibrations from giant generators combined with the vibrations of sewing machinery for the collapse of the building, allegedly constructed without proper permission with substandard materials.
At least 12 people have been arrested, including the owner of the collapsed building and owners of the factories — Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac, Ether Tex, New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms — which make clothing for many major global brands.
Apart from a bank’s branch and hundreds of shops, six floors of the building, owned by a ruling party leader, housed the five garment factories which, according to the months-old data of the owners’ association, employed nearly 3,122 workers, mostly women.