Please find below an abridged version of correspondence received from Zaman Sagar – Managing Director of Concord Express.
Dear all concerned,
With deep regret I wish to inform you that all garment industries in Bangladesh will be closed for the next two days Saturday, 27th April and Sunday 28th April 2013 in order to ease the massive agitation of garment workers all over the country, caused by the complete collapse of a nine storied commercial building situated in the Savar area out of Dhaka city. The building collapsed suddenly at around 9.30 am on Thursday, 25th April 2013. The building contained garment manufacturing businesses. More than 6000 workers were in and around the building at the time.
A rescue operation commenced with different agencies including Bangladesh Armed Forces, Civil Defense and Fire Brigade, Red Crescent and many people willing with every effort to help. At the time of writing, 11.15 pm on 26/04/2013 around 2400 people have been rescued though many with severe injuries and 310 people have lost their lives. The rescue effort is still ongoing, giving priority to rescuing people trapped in the debris. This process is time consuming and dangerous due to the nature of the building’s collapse. According to the rescue authority source, thousands of workers are still trapped and need to be rescued with immediate effect.
It is pleasing to report that more than 100 bodies have been rescued today (Friday) on the third day rescue operations.
Though some heavy lifting equipment has been delivered to the damaged site by the rescue authority, it is still unsafe to use this equipment while people remain trapped.
Due to this tragic incident, most of the garment workers in the country have come out onto the streets, to hold demonstrations, unfortunately, anger has provoked the vandalization of hundreds of vehicles all over the city. This has caused a serious situation all over Dhaka city and its nearby areas resulting in gridlock throughout the city.
All concerned authorities are trying hard to ease the situation all over the country especially in Dhaka city and its nearby areas and as a pre-caution and to control the agitated situation, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers Association (BGMEA) has called all Garment Industries to be closed for the next two days as stated above.
We are anxious that the situation may hamper some regular and urgent shipments by air or by sea as planned, since the situation is totally beyond our control, we are trying our best to serve our valued customers during this devastating situation.
Please convey the same to all concerned parties involved for their kind understanding and patience.
We ask that you join us in our sincere hope for the early recovery of hundreds of severely injured people and the salvation of the departed souls during this devastating incident In Dhaka.
We are closely monitoring the situation and will keep you posted.
MD., Concord Express – BD.