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Thursday
Apr252013

Death Toll in Bangladesh Building Collapse Rises

MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SAVAR, Bangladesh) -- Scores of people were killed in Savar, Bangladesh, on Wednesday, when the walls of an eight-story building suddenly crumbled, turning the structure into a massive pile of rubble.  There were at least 1,000 others hurt, many seriously.

The death toll of garment factory workers stood at 194 early Thursday and was expected to climb.

Survivors said they noticed cracks in the building the day before but were told by bosses that it was safe to continue working.

According to the head of the country's National Fire Service, the Rana Plaza building violated numerous codes.  In fact, the four upper floors were constructed illegally without permits.

Rescue and recovery efforts continued into Thursday, as first responders dug through the wreckage with everything at their disposal to try and reach people trapped inside.

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir vowed "the culprits would be punished."

Garment factory violations are notorious in Bangladesh.  Late last year, a building that was not up to code turned into a fire trap when a blaze broke out, killing 122 people, most of them workers.

Those in the Rana Building made clothes sold by international companies, including Walmart in the U.S.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio