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Bangladesh building collapse toll reaches 194

"The death toll from the building collapse has climbed to 194," Wali Ashraf, a police official at a control room set up to provide information about the disaster fatalities, told Xinhua Thursday.

Bangladesh building collapse
Bangladeshi civiliant volunteers assist in rescue operations after an eight-storey building collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka; Pic/AFP
 

The building, "Rana Plaza", collapsed around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Fire servicemen and army personnel worked frantically through the night to rescue people who are still believed to be trapped inside.

Bangladesh building cllapse
A Bangladeshi youth reacts after seeing his relatives dead body; Pic/AFP

Fire Services director Mahbubur Rahman said 1,600 people have so far been rescued after the eight-storeyed building in Savar collapsed Wednesday morning. Most of the rescued people were injured and were rushed to the hospitals, he said.

Doctors Wednesday night said the toll could rise as some of those injured are in critical condition.

Bangladesh building collapse
The dead body of a Bangladeshi youth is seen in the rubble; Pic/AFP

Officials say rescue operation in the building which housed four garment factories, a bank's branch and hundreds of shops has been continuing without any break since Wednesday morning. 

But they say it's not still clear how many people remain trapped in the wreckage and rescuers fear the death toll may rise significantly.

The authorities ordered the closure of the building after it developed cracks Tuesday, but the factory owners reportedly defied the restriction.

At least 110 people were killed in a garment factory fire in Ashulia on the outskirts of Dhaka in November 2012. 

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