Collapsed Building Owner Arrested While Trying to Flee Country

The owner of the illegally-constructed building that collapsed earlier this week and killed 377 people (with that number sure to rise) was arrested Sunday as he attempted to flee the country. Mohammed Sohel Rana was arrested by an Bangladeshi commando force at a border crossing in western Bangladesh. He was brought by helicopter back to the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, where he will face negligence charges.

Survivors are still being pulled from the building which collapsed shortly after cracks were found in the edifice. Supervisors forced people to work in the failing building anyway.

The capture was announced over the loudspeaker at the site of the rubble, where workers are still finding survivors even though this is normally the amount of time after a tragedy when a rescue operation becomes a recovery one.

The AP writes that the owner, Rana, made the decision to keep the factory open:

A small-time politician from the ruling party, Rana had been on the run since Wednesday. He last appeared in public in front of his Rana Plaza on Tuesday after huge cracks appeared in the building. However, he assured tenants, including five garment factories, that the building was safe, according to witnesses.

A woman was rescued from the rubble Sunday morning, and a man who was trapped next to her, looks to be freed shortly. Still, time is running short for survivors, as rescuers will begin to start using heavy machinery to sift through the rubble, looking for both survivors and the bodies of the dead.

Bangladesh's garment industry is the third largest in the world, but it has been marred lately by adeadly fire that killed 112 people and a previous building collapse that killed 64. Workers at garment factories make as little as $37 a month.