The eight-story Rana Plaza factory building in the Savar Upazila of Dhaka district collapsed on the 24th April 2013, with an unknown number inside. After the search ended it was found that approximately 1,134 were killed and approximately 2,500 were injured from the building alive. It is considered as the deadliest structural disaster in modern human history. The Rana Plaza building had housed a number of garment factories, a bank, apartments, and several other shops.
Just a day before the accident the building was evacuated when the cracks were noticed on the walls. Later that day the building was inspected by an engineer and was declared unsafe. Even after the warnings, the supervisors ordered the workers to return to work, saying that the building was inspected and declared safe. Preliminary findings suggest that vibrations from four generations on upper floors triggered the collapse. After analysis and inspection, it was found that the upper floors had been built without a permit and the building was planned for shops and offices but not for factories noting that the structure was not strong enough to bear the weight and vibration of heavy machinery. Another direct reason for building failure is the use of substandard construction material.
Control measures that could have been taken are as follows:
- Additional and illegal construction should be prohibited as these add ons put on extra pressure on the holding capacity of the building giving rise to cracks.
- safety and maintenance inspection by the officials of the government should be carried out on regular intervals so that there is no error in false data.
- Improving the fire and emergency exits in the buildings to make it safe for the people to move out the building in emergency situations
- awareness of the construction area to the workers
- comply with statutory building regulations as these are the laws set for health, safety and qailiy in the built enivornment
- Use of quality graded construction material