Back in December, a court in Bangladesh issued arrest warrants for 24 people who had fled murder charges related to the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse, while owner Sohel Rana and 16 other awaited trial on bail. On Monday, Reuters reports the court has formally charged 38 people with murder. Three others were charged for aiding Rana's attempted escape in the days following the collapse.
All 35 people who appeared in court on Monday, including Rana himself, plead not guilty, according to Public Prosecutor Abdul Mannan. Six others are still fugitives but will be tried in absentia. The death penalty is on the table for those charged with murder.
The legal fallout of the Bangladeshi manufacturing industry's greatest tragedy — wherein 1,100 people perished and thousands were injured after a building containing five different factories collapsed on April 24, 2013 — has been a long time coming. Only a month later, Bangladesh's Home Ministry carried out an investigation which recommended the murder charges, according to the New York Times.
On the third anniversary of the collapse in April, survivors and relatives gathered at the site to remember the victims with wreaths while thousands of protesters demanded justice and safer working conditions.