Charges filed in 2013 Bangladesh factory collapse that killed more than 1,000

Story highlights

  • More than 40 are people charged in 2013 Bangladesh factory collapse -- 1,137 people died
  • Investigators found apparel factory caved in because of faulty construction
  • Government officials, politicians and businessmen among those facing charges

(CNN)Bangladesh police charged 42 people Monday in connection with the 2013 collapse of an eight-story garment factory that killed more than 1,000 people.

The building's owner, his parents and dozens of others, including government officials, local politicians and businessmen, face charges in the collapse of Rana Plaza in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, Khandakar Abdul Mannan, the public prosecutor of Dhaka Districts, told CNN. The collapse was the worst such accident in Bangladesh's history. It left 1,137 people dead.
The police's Criminal Investigation Department found the building caved in because of faulty construction that violated building codes, police and court officials said.
    Charges range from murder to violation of building codes, the prosecutor said.
    It took two years to file the charges because, under Bangladesh law, government permission is required before charges can be brought against government officials, police said.

    History of deadly accidents

    Deadly incidents at factories and other buildings are not new to Bangladesh, but the 2013 collapse was the worst in the country's history. An apparel factory fire on the outskirts of Dhaka killed at least 117 people in November of 2012. Thirteen people were convicted for gross negligence of safety measures. The blaze spurred widespread criticism about the state of workers' rights in Bangladesh.
    In the aftermath, the government revamped laws to allow workers to form trade unions without approval from their employers. In addition, every factory that sells within the country was mandated to pledge 5% of its profits towards a workers' welfare fund.
    The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, which includes Walmart, Gap, Target, Kohl's and 22 other U.S. and Canadian companies that do business with the country's manufacturers, issued a report in March claiming working conditions in the country's garment industry have been transformed since the 2013 factory collapse, but critics have not been entirely swayed.
      In January the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) concluded the government of Bangladesh had made progress but, "There is more work to do, building on the collaboration between the government of Bandladesh, private sector stakeholders, and the International Labor Organization, to address the concerns about factory safety in the apparel sector." said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.
      President Obama suspended Bangladesh's trade benefits in June 2013 over worker rights. The USTR review found further progress necessary in several key areas of a Bangladesh Action Plan before the U.S. will consider reinstating Bangladesh's trade benefits.