Bangladeshi volunteers and rescue workers recover a dead body from an eight-storey building that collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka on April 28, 2013. — AFP Photo
Bangladeshi volunteers and rescue workers recover a dead body from an eight-storey building that collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka on April 28, 2013. — AFP Photo

Bangladeshi volunteers and rescue workers recover a dead body from an eight-storey building that collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka on April 28, 2013. — AFP Photo DHAKA: The owner of a factory building that collapsed in Bangladesh killing hundreds of garment workers was arrested on Sunday trying to flee to India, police said, as fears grew that the death toll could rise sharply with as many as 900 still missing.

Mohammed Sohel Rana, a leader of the ruling Awami League's youth front, was arrested by the elite Rapid Action Battalion in the Bangladesh border town of Benapole, Dhaka District Police Chief Habibur Rahman told Reuters.

Speaking near the site of the wreckage of Rana Plaza, which housed several factories making low-cost garments for Western retailers, junior minister for local government Jahangir Kabir Nanak told reporters that Rana would be brought to Dhaka by helicopter.

Authorities put the latest death toll at 372, four days after the country's worst-ever industrial accident.

Four people were pulled out alive on Sunday and rescuers were working frantically to save several others trapped under the mound of broken concrete and metal, 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.

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

Local news reports said the mother of building owner Rana, who was not being held, died of a heart attack on Saturday evening.

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. On Sunday, however, the roads were quiet.

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.


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