The Rana Plaza collapse killed more than 1,100 workers

The Rana Plaza collapse killed more than 1,100 workers

Police in Bangladesh have charged the owner of the Rana Plaza complex with murder, for killing more than 1,100 workers, and filed charges against 41 others for their roles in the building collapse.

The charges of culpable homicide were reportedly filed on Monday (1 June) against 42 people, including the building's owner, Sohel Rana, his parents, and more than a dozen government officials.

Rana built the complex on the site of a pond, without proper precautions and without a permit. He, and the others being charged, are accused of ignoring safety warnings and for their direct involvement in the deaths of the workers.

Those charged include the former mayor of the local council, Refat Ullah; the owners of the five garment factories located in the complex; and dozens of local council officials and engineers.

In addition, 18 of the 42 are facing charges of violating the building code, according to the Wall Street Journal.

If convicted of murder, the defendants could face the death penalty. A hearing is expected to take place on 28 June to decide on further proceedings.

The Rana Plaza factory complex housed five factories producing clothes for retailers including Benetton, Mango, and Primark. The April 2013 disaster placed the spotlight firmly on safety standards in the garment industry and led to the formation of the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, both of which are undertaking safety inspections across all member factories in the country.