The Most Heartbreaking Photo From the Bangladesh Factory Rubble


This heartbreaking photo, taken by Bangladeshi photographer and activist Taslima Akhter, shows a couple dying in each other's arms amidst the ruins of Rana Plaza, the collapsed garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh.

The photo first gained attention on Reddit, and has since gone viral as increasing international attention has shifted towards the factory conditions before the Rana Plaza building collapse on April 24

The exact causes of the collapse remain unknown, but an initial investigation reports that the Rana Plaza building violated building codes, and that the four upper floors had been constructed illegally without permits.

It appears that factory owners ignored this warning, as over 3,000 employees were still working at Rana Plaza on the day of the collapse. According to Muhammad Anisur Rahman, chairman of the Ether Tex Ltd., one of the factories in Rana Plaza, "There was a crack at the second floor, but my factory was on the fifth floor ... The owner of the building told our floor manager that it [was] not a problem and so [he could] open the factory."

Hasanul Haque Inu, the Bangladeshi government's information minister, has also said, "I wouldn't call it an accident ... I would call it a murder."

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the arrests of Sohel Rana, the owner of the building, along with the owners of four garment factories that were operating on the upper floors of the building. Violent protests by garment workers in industrial sections of Bangladeshi capital Dhaka have also erupted, with over 150 vehicles reported damaged, and two factories burned. Many of the protesters demanded the death penalty for Rana and the owners of the garment factories on the upper floors.

As of May 8, 803 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage, dozens of which were so decomposed that they have been sent to a lab for DNA identification. The final death toll remains unknown.