Rana Plaza Collapse, Bangladesh


Rana Plaza Collapse, Bangladesh

In the catastrophe, an eight-story business building named Rana Plaza collapsed on Wednesday, 24th, April, 2013 in Savar Upazila, Dhaka in Bangladesh. This was a great disappointment that brought global outcry concerning the safety of our working environments. The incident is also referred to as the Savar building breakdown. Rana Plaza housed various separate article of clothing industrial facilities with about 5,000 people, a few shops, and a bank. The building was had a bank, a few shops and condos. On 24th, April, 2014 in the morning hours there was a power blackout. For this reason, diesel generators on the top floor were started to provide backup power supply (Hayes, 2014). The exact time was around 08:57 a.m. BST when the building collapse ground floor intact.

Cracks had been noticed in the building raising concerns to those who were concerned about its safety (Vrinda & Laferrière, 2015). However, the proprietors of the building overlooked calls to abstain from using the building the day before the catastrophic incidence. Workers in the clothing industries had been asked to avoid entering the premises the next day but the management was against the idea of their absence. The management had the alternative of relocating to other buildings. This could be done by moving different businesses to different buildings since there was not a specific building that could host all the businesses in Rana Plaza.

Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder Name Position/ Role Influence How the stakeholder contributed to the catastrophe
Sohel Rana Owner High Ignored calls to abandon the plaza
Rana Plaza Management Managing the operations of the plaza High Ignored calls to abandon the plaza
Massood Reza Rana Plaza designer High Explained the appropriate use of the plaza
Ali Ahmed Khan Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense Medium Noted illegal operations of businesses without permit
Business Owners Rana Plaza tenants High Failed to regard calls to vacate the premises in advance
Employees Employed by business owners Low Had little influence since they were forced to stay in the building
Clients Were carrying on with their businesses when the disaster struck Low Had little knowledge of the state of the building
Local authorities Regulating business operations High Did not take radical measures to force the closure of the plaza in advance
Disaster management teams Managing disasters High Recused victims and managed the incident after the disaster
Bangladeshi governments Ruling the country High Disregarded help from international organizations

The stakeholders of the building included people with varied diversities. Rana Plaza building owner Sohel Rana was a professedly a rich individual from the nearby Jubo League. He was a member of the young wing of the Awami League political party. Different modelers focused on the risks involved in setting production lines. According to the specifications of its constructors, the building was ideal for just for shops and workplace. They cited that the structure was conceivably not sufficiently solid to hold the weight and the intense vibration of machinery in the production lines. According to Ali Ahmed Khan, the leader of the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense, the upper four stories operated without a permit (Khan & Wichterich, 2015). On the other hand, Massood Reza, the Rana Plaza’s designer stated that the building was meant for shops and workplaces yet not industrial facilities. The collapse of Rana Plaza prompted to a global objection, and to a guarantee by Western retailers to across the board assessments of Bangladesh’s a large number of attire manufacturing plants.

The clothing production lines in the building included popular clothing industries and other popular brands such as Benetton, Bonmarché, El Corte Inglés, Monsoon Accessorize, Joe Fresh, Mango, Primark, Matalan, the Children’s Place and Walmart. The collapse of the perplexing building was based on swampy ground outside the capital Dhaka (ABC International, Films Media Group & Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2013). Requests for more safety actions fell into deaf years something that shows the management’s failure to act in a timely and solemn manner (Zarroli et al., 2014). The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president affirmed that 3,122 employees were working at the time of the collapse. One neighborhood inhabitant portrayed the scene as though a seismic tremor had struck (O’Brien, 2013).

The collapse of the eight-story business building (Rana Plaza) is the excruciating image of the grave disaster experienced by piece of clothing specialists. The bank and shops on the lower floors quickly shut after the catastrophe (Khan & Wichterich, 2015). The incident was blamed on the management who disregarded warnings and chose to proceed with operations. On the contrary, clothing specialists were requested to come back to work the next day. Because of administration weight, a huge number of specialists went to work again at their piece of clothing manufacturing plants situated in the cracked Rana Plaza building (Vrinda & Laferrière, 2015). This shows that the management did not do its work to prevent the incident because it ignored the warnings shown by the crack. The cost/benefit analysis of the management action shows that it would have been more profitable to vacate the building prior to its collapse. 

Cost/benefit Analysis

Stakeholder Name Course of action Alternative course of action Cost/benefit analysis
Sohel Rana (Owner) Ignored calls to abandon the plaza Ordering the abandonment the plaza in when cracks showed up Loss of life and property
Rana Plaza Management Ignored calls to abandon the plaza Abandoning the plaza in time Loss of life and property
Massood Reza (Rana Plaza designer) Explained the appropriate use of the plaza Seeking the action of local authorities for proper use of the plaza Showed in competencies of designers
Ali Ahmed Khan (Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense) Noted illegal operations of businesses without permit Seeking the action of local authorities so to make these business to operate legally Negligence of duty that lead to loss of lives and property
Business Owners Failed to regard calls to vacate the premises in advance Vacating the plaza when it was deemed dangerous Negligence of duty that lead to loss of lives and property
Employees Had little influence since they were forced to stay in the building Seeking action from local authorities of refusing to work until action is taken Failed to protect their safety (some lost life, others got injured)
Clients Had little knowledge of the state of the building Investigating the state of the plaza before entering it Failed to protect their safety (some lost life, others got injured)
Local authorities Did not take radical measures to force the closure of the plaza in advance Taking radical measures to force the closure of the plaza in advance Negligence of duty that lead to loss of lives and property
Disaster management teams Recused victims and managed the incident after the disaster Asking for help from international organizations Failure to take the right course of action that lead to loss of lives and property
Bangladeshi governments Disregarded help from international organizations Acknowledge help from international organizations Negligence of duty that lead to loss of lives and property

The search for the dead after the collapse of the plaza was completed on 13th, May, 2013. The loss of life totaled to 1,129 by the time of the search completion. On the other hand, 2,500 injured individuals were secured from the building alive. The incident is considered the deadliest inadvertent catastrophe in present day human history due to the devastating effects of the collapse that led to loss of lives and property (Loomis, 2015). The United Nations had offered to send its search team and save unit just after the collapse. The team known as the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) could have been helpful.  However, this offer was unaccepted by Dhaka specialists. The Bangladesh government created an impression proposing that the region’s neighborhood crisis management teams were well equipped (Zarroli et al., 2014).

One of the articles of clothing makers’ website demonstrates that the majority of the casualties were ladies. Additionally the children who were in nursery offices inside the building were also seriously hit by the collapse. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, the Bangladeshi Home Minister affirmed that terminate police and military troops were helping to search for those trapped in the collapsed building. Volunteer save specialists utilized electrical discharges to help survivors to escape from the building (Khan  & Wichterich, 2015).

The United Nations held discussions to evaluate the nation’s capacity to mount a powerful save operation prior to offering help to Bangladesh. In the meeting, they arrived to the conclusion that they did not have that ability. On the other hand, Bangladeshi authorities declined to acknowledge the help offered to them by the UN since it did not want to harm its pride (Zarroli et al., 2014). The Bangladeshi government blamed for favoring national pride over those trapped in the rubble. An expansive part of the safeguard operation comprised of insufficiently prepared volunteers. Most of the volunteers had no defensive attire and wore shoes. However, many relatives of those caught in the flotsam and jetsam reprimanded the legislature for attempting to end the search mission prematurely (Hayes, 2014).  

Those concerned about the management’s failure to take precautions claimed that the incident was a management’s blameworthy occurrence. This line of contention gives fractional duty regarding the calamity to the short development dates of the building (O’Brien, 2013). This based on of the brisk changes of plans, alluded to as quick mold. Others have contended the greed for quick design and ease clothing spurred negligible care by apparel brands. It is also conceivable that all in all composed exchange unions could have reacted to the weight of management. Some argue that exchange unions would expand workforce expenses and along these lines imperil the Bangladesh article of clothing industry.

Since the Spectrum processing plant collapse in 2005, conspicuous producers sought out other businesses. These include the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) based on the reason for avoiding such disasters. Examiners neglected to distinguish the basic concerns despite the fact consistence reviews by the BSCI system at two of Rana Plaza plants showing otherwise (O’Brien, 2013). This has been challenged, as the BSCI review poll obliged examiners to check building licenses. It also recommended search for errors between the entrance and the quantity of floors practically speaking were evident. In an official statement taking after the fall, BSCI clarified that their framework did not cover building safety. Some people claim that the BSCI had other motivators to report these kinds of violations.

The aftermath of the incident included positive and negative occurrences. The Rana Plaza disaster incited security watches that prompted many processing plant terminations and the loss of fares and occupations. However, the business had started to recoup unequivocally in spite of sporadic assaults in Bangladesh guaranteed by Islamic State and al-Qaida. These have included killings of liberals, gay individuals, outsiders and individuals from religious minorities. In the meantime, some North American attire organizations and retailers established the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (ABWS). It depicts itself as an authoritative, 5-year project with straightforward arrangement, quantifiable and obvious pointers to enhance security. It was aimed at enhancing security in Bangladesh’s instant piece of clothing (RMG) manufacturing plants.

The Rana Plaza collapse caused a worldwide objection about specialists’ security, work environment conditions and work rights by and large. This brought about broad scope in both local and global media. In light of work rights associations’ call for activity, more than 150 clothing partnerships have marked the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Khan & Wichterich, 2015). These partnerships are from 20 nations in Asia, North America, Europe and Australia.  This also included two worldwide exchange unions, UNI and IndustriALL and various Bangladeshi unions. Basically, the Accord is a free lawfully authoritative agreement. The agreement incorporates autonomous wellbeing investigations at industrial facilities and opens announcing of the outcomes.

Contrasts between the alliance and the accord have since been faced off. This may be seen as a move in the right direction. However, a report by the Center for Business and Human Rights (CBHR) at New York University’s Stern Business School calls attention. It is considered to be wasteful and mistaking for the alliance and the accord to run isolate programs with independent financing plans (Loomis, 2015). Likewise, the universe of production lines enveloped by the alliance and accord projects is under 2,000. On the other hand, the aggregate base of manufacturing plants and offices of clothing sector is somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000. The most exceedingly bad conditions are to a great extent in the industrial facilities and offices that fall outside the extent of these understandings. This is because supply chain and sourcing after catastrophe have changes. This depicts the circuitous sourcing of works in Bangladesh.

It was indicated that 1138 workers lost their lives after the collapse of the building. About 2600 laborers were injured; most of them sustained very serious injuries. The compensations given to these employees varied depending on the degree of injuries sustained. The estimated valuations of properties were used to compensate lost properties. A large number of the survivors had been caught under huge amounts of rubble and hardware. They stayed in the rubble for quite a long time or even days before they were rescued at times just by cutting off appendages (Loomis, 2015). Debt free access to western markets and low wages for its specialists has increased attractions to investors. It has transformed Bangladesh’s clothing industry into a $28 billion-a-year industry. This is the financial backbone of the nation with a population of 160 million people (O’Brien, 2013). This horrifying catastrophe crushed the lives of thousands of laborers and of the groups of people who were in the building. Their sufferings are awful and require prompt and long haul therapeutic care and pay. The dead and the injured workers in the Rana Plaza suffered something that could have been prevented.


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ABC International., Films for the Humanities & Sciences (Firm), & Films Media Group. (2013). Fashion Victims.

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Hayes, Z. (2014). Clothes to die for.

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Khan, M. R. I., & Wichterich, C. (2015). Safety and labour conditions: The accord and the national tripartite plan of action for the garment industry of Bangladesh. Geneva: ILO.

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Laferrière, A. (2015). After rana plaza: Women’s labour rights in the Bangladesh garment export industry.

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Loomis, E. (2015). Out of sight: The long and disturbing story of corporations outsourcing catastrophe.

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O’Brien, K., Ferguson, S., ABC Commercial., Australian Broadcasting Corporation., & Films Media Group. (2013). Fashion victims.

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Vrinda N., & Laferrière, A. (2015). After Rana Plaza: Women’s labour rights in the Bangladesh garment export industry. McGill University.

Zarroli, J., Khanam, A., Spaulding, I., Mobarak, A. M., Akter, A., Nova, S., & National Public Radio (U.S.). (2014). [NPR’s Jim Zarroli reports on what has changed in the garment factories of Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza factory building collapse in April 2013].

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