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Pope condemns ‘slave labor’ in Bangladesh after factory collapse

Pope Francis during a mass on Wednesday condemned as “slave labor” the work conditions of victims of a factory collapse in Bangladesh. (Reuters)

Pope Francis during a mass on Wednesday condemned as “slave labor” the work conditions of victims of a factory collapse in Bangladesh in which more than 400 people have been found dead, Vatican radio reported.

“A headline that really struck me on the day of the tragedy in Bangladesh was ‘Living on 38 euros a month.’ That is what the people who died were being paid. This is called slave labor,” the pope was quoted as saying during his homily.

An unknown number of dead still lie under the wreckage - over 3,000 workers were in the eight-level complex when it collapsed - while hundreds more are in hospital with horrific injuries from severed limbs to fractured skulls.

Seven people have so far been arrested over the disaster, including the owner of the complex, property tycoon Sohel Rana, who was detained as he attempted to cross into India and was flown back to Dhaka.

Among others also facing charges of causing “death by negligence” are two engineers who are alleged to have given the building the all-clear after large cracks were found in the walls the night before the catastrophe.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 1 May 2013 KSA 15:51 - GMT 12:51
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