Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: 3 dead in France collapse; US-Syria fears rise; Germany to stay in Euro

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Fugitive owner arrested as Bangladesh building toll reaches 377
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The owner of a factory building that collapsed in Bangladesh killing hundreds of garment workers was arrested on Sunday trying to flee to India, as hopes of finding more survivors from the country’s worst industrial accident began to fade.

Mohammed Sohel Rana was arrested by the elite Rapid Action Battalion in the border town of Benapole, Dhaka District Police Chief Habibur Rahman told Reuters, ending a four-day manhunt that began after Rana Plaza, which housed factories making low-cost garments for Western retailers, caved in on Wednesday.

Bangladesh television showed Rana, a local leader of the ruling Awami League’s youth front, being flown by helicopter to the capital Dhaka, where he will face charges of faulty construction and causing unlawful death.

Authorities put the latest death toll at 377 and expect it to climb higher with hundreds more still unaccounted for.

Four people were pulled out alive on Sunday after almost 100 hours beneath the mound of broken concrete and metal, and rescuers were working frantically to try to save several others still trapped, fire services deputy director Mizanur Rahman said.

“The chances of finding people alive are dimming, so we have to step up our rescue operation to save any valuable life we can,” said Major General Chowdhury Hassan Sohrawardi, coordinator of the operation at the site.

About 2,500 people have been rescued from the wrecked building in the commercial suburb of Savar, about 30 km (20 miles) from the capital, Dhaka.

Officials said the eight-storey complex had been built on spongy ground without the correct permits, and more than 3,000 workers – mainly young women – entered the building on Wednesday morning despite warnings that it was structurally unsafe.

A bank and shops in the same building closed after a jolt was felt and cracks were noticed on some pillars on Tuesday.

Police said one factory owner gave himself up on Sunday following the detention of two plant bosses and two engineers the day before.

Anger over the disaster has sparked days of protests and clashes, with police using tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to quell demonstrators who set cars ablaze.

Garment workers blockaded a highway in the nearby industrial zone of Gazipur on Sunday demanding capital punishment for the owners.

The main opposition, joining forces with an alliance of leftist parties which is part of the ruling coalition, called for a national strike on May 2 in protest over the incident.

Built on a filled-in pond

Wednesday’s collapse was the third major industrial incident in five months in Bangladesh, the second-largest exporter of garments in the world behind China. In November, a fire at the Tazreen Fashion factory in a suburb of Dhaka killed 112 people.

Such incidents have raised serious questions about worker safety and low wages, and could taint the reputation of the poor South Asian country, which relies on garments for 80 percent of its exports. The industry employs about 3.6 million people, most of them women, some of whom earn as little as $38 a month.

Emdadul Islam, chief engineer of the state-run Capital Development Authority (CDA), said on Friday that the owner of the building had not received the proper construction consent, obtaining a permit for a five-storey building from the local municipality, which did not have the authority to grant it.

Furthermore, another three storeys had been added illegally, he said. “Savar is not an industrial zone, and for that reason no factory can be housed in Rana Plaza,” Islam told Reuters.

Islam said the building had been erected on the site of a pond filled in with sand and earth, weakening the foundations.

North American and European chains, including British retailer Primark and Canada’s Loblaw, a unit of George Weston Ltd, said they were supplied by factories in the Rana Plaza building.

Since the disaster, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has asked factory owners to produce building designs by July in a bid to improve safety.

Building collapses in northern France, three dead
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Part of a five-storey residential building collapsed in the northeastern French city of Reims on Sunday, killing three people and injuring 14, officials said.

The collapse may have been caused by a gas explosion, regional official Michel Bernard told BFM-TV.

The death toll was not likely to rise as the injured people were not at risk and there were no residents unaccounted for, an official at the region’s emergency centre told Reuters.

Around 10 of the 40 apartments in the 1960s-era building were affected by the collapse.

Two police officers shot as Italian government sworn in
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Two police officers were shot and wounded outside the Italian prime minister’s office on Sunday as Enrico Letta’s new government was being sworn in about a kilometer away at the president’s palace, RAI state television reported.

One man was arrested at the scene of the shooting, a witness said, and it was initially unclear whether the attack was linked to the launch of the new government.

One of the officers was shot in the neck and was in a serious condition, a police official said.

Letta, 46, the moderate deputy head of the Democratic Party (PD), on Saturday ended two months of political stalemate since February’s inconclusive election when he brought together former political rivals in a broad coalition government.

Letta’s ministers stepped forward one by one to swear allegiance to the republic before President Giorgio Napolitano, who personally picked Letta as prime minister and had a central role in the choice of his cabinet team.

German finmin calls anti-euro party’s policy ‘insane’
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: A core policy of a new anti-euro party was criticised as “economically insane” by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in an interview published on Sunday.

Support for the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), which wants Germany to quit the euro and reintroduce the deutsche mark, is at 2 percent, according to a survey by Emnid pollsters also released on Sunday.

“For Germany, it would be economically insane to exit the euro,” Schaeuble told German weekly Focus, adding that Switzerland’s struggle with its soaring franc proved how problematic it could be to have a stronger currency.

Schaeuble warned support for the AfD could still cost the ruling coalition crucial votes in September’s elections.

Political analysts say it would be difficult for the AfD, launched a few months ago by a group of renegade academics, journalists and businessmen, to get above the five percent threshold needed to enter parliament in September.

But Schaeuble said that the elections in Lower Saxony in January, in which the centre-left opposition edged Chancellor Angela Me

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 mins ago

Bar girls in Pattaya arrested for allegedly violating Covid restrictions while live streaming

Protests45 mins ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Crime1 hour ago

Police arrest suspect who allegedly killed Covid patient and 7-Eleven clerk

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Multiple Bangkok hospitals stop Covid testing, citing fear of insufficient beds

Pattaya2 hours ago

Chon Buri governor says Pattaya bars will stay closed for now, Covid cases remain high

Crime2 hours ago

15 year old stabbed at private school

Thailand3 hours ago

UPDATE: Police identify alleged gunman who opened fire at field hospital, killing a patient

Thailand4 hours ago

PM orders investigation into pricey street lamps

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 Thai Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket4 hours ago

Phuket governor outlines plans to track and trace foreign arrivals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: Latest wave exceeds 200,000 cases

Thailand5 hours ago

Guitarist from “Playground” dies in road incident

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

First delivery of Sinopharm vaccines approved for distribution

Thailand5 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Thai Immigration – Are you legal? Latest Covid and Phuket sandbox

Phuket5 hours ago

Flight traffic to Phuket expected to increase by 6% next month

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending