Owner of Bangladesh Clothing Factory Arrested; Death Toll Nearly 400

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Property tycoon Sohel Rana (C) is escorted to a press conference at the Rapic Action Battalion (RAB) headquarters in Dhaka on April 28, 2013. Bangladesh police on Sunday arrested the owner of a garment factory block that collapsed last week killing more than 375 people as hopes faded for survivors at the disaster site. Photo: STR

Reuters reports Sohel Rana, owner of the now-collapsed Rana Plaza that claimed the lives of at least 385 Bangladeshi garment workers, was arrested yesterday when police commandos found him in a border town trying to flee to India. He will be questioned over the next fifteen days. Rana's father Abdul Khalek, four factory bosses, and two engineers are also in custody; authorities are still searching for another factory chief. The group is being charged with "faulty construction and causing unlawful death," and, as Reuters adds, "Bangladesh does carry out the death penalty for murder and for most serious categories of manslaughter."

Army spokesman Shahinul Islam told the press, "We are giving the highest priority to saving people, but there is little hope of finding anyone alive" in the Rana Plaza rubble. According to WWD, 900 employees remain missing, many of them young women. Additionally, aside from Primark and Joe Fresh, Mango, the U.K.'s Bon Marche, and Spanish chain El Corte Ingles confirmed their usage of the facility.

CNN writes that Bangladesh's Cabinet plans to conduct safety and security inspections of the country's garment factories in light of the event. It's said to be the worst accident in the industry's history.