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Rana Plaza victims' fund reaches target

An ILO fund for the families of victims from the deadliest garment factory accident in history has finally reached its goal. More than 1,000 workers were killed at Rana Plaza, many making clothes for western retailers.

A fund set up by the UN's International Labor Organization (ILO) to compensate the families of the victims of

the Rana Plaza factory collapse

has finally reached its $30 million (26.6 million euro) target, the organization announced late Monday.

This means that the last families awaiting a payout will receive their portion of the fund "in the coming weeks," said the ILO, which heads the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee.

The committee was established shortly after the April 24, 2013 disaster which left 1,100 garment workers dead and a further 1,500 wounded in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. ILO director-general Guy Ryder was enthusiastic about reaching $30 million, but cautioned that the committee still had "important business to deal with."

Managers charged with murder

Last week Bangladeshi police charged

Sohel Rana, the owner of the factory complex, and 40 others with murder

. Survivors had testified that they were forced to enter the building the day of the disaster despite bringing cracks in the walls to the attention of management.

Rana had been arrested at the Indian border after trying to flee Bangladesh in the days following the disaster.

Several popular western retailers like Mango, Benetton, Walmart and Primark had some of their clothing manufactured at Rana Plaza. German low-cost chains like NKD, KIK and C&A also commissioned clothing from the five-factory compound.

The Rana Plaza collapse highlighted the appalling working conditions and dangers faced by those working in Bangladesh's $25 billion garment industry, which is the world's second-largest after China's.

es/msh (AFP, epd)

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