Compensation demands 'still to be met' one year on from Bangladesh factory collapse

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One year on from the world’s worst textile factory disaster some mourners in Bangladesh are still waiting for news of their lost relatives, while others are demanding government compensation.

Rashida Begum’s daughter was in the Rana Plaza factory when it collapsed, killing some 1,129 people.

She is still missing.

“I couldn’t find her (Kulsum) anywhere,” says Begum. “Even the DNA test on the blood sample I gave did not match any of the unidentified bodies. No one but Allah knows what has happened to her body. We’ve no idea where they’ve (authorities) kept the body.”

Reshma Begum is one of the survivors of the disaster. She was buried for 17 days before being found and is still haunted by the experience.

“I can’t tolerate darkness in my room at night,” she says. “The light is always switched on (at night). If it’s turned off, I start panicking. It feels like…what I can say? Like I am still there.”

The eight-storey factory is said to have been illegally constructed and families of the victims are stepping up their demands for compensation.

An independent panel formed under the direction of Bangladesh’s High Court recommended that those disabled by the collapse and the families of the dead should receive more than 13,000 euros.

But a year on, many say they are still waiting to receive a full payout.

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