An estimated 123 people are dead after the collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory building Wednesday morning, news sources are reporting.
The death toll could rise; many more may be trapped in the rubble. Because garment factories in that area are generally in operation around the clock, as many as 2,000 workers could have been in the building at the time of the collapse.
Observers said the upper floors of the eight-story building dropped onto the lower flowers, leaving wreckage that was two stories tall.
Tens of thousands of people are reported to have gathered at the site, crying for relatives lost in the tragedy of searching for family members still missing.
Several garment factories that made apparel for Wal-Mart, Disney and other companies were housed in the eight-story building near Dhaka.
The incident comes amid calls for improved safety standards in the region and for western companies who sell Bangladesh-made products – like Wal Mart -- to take more responsibility for worker conditions in the global supply chain.
Bangladesh has a $20 billion-a-year textile industry with approximately 4,000 garment factories – many in buildings that are poorly constructed and do not meet construction regulations.
This building collapse echoes a garment factory collapse that occurred in the same area eight years ago, killing dozens of workers. In another incident, 112 workers were killed in a November, 2012 fire at a factory outside of Dhaka.