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Government minister says death toll in Bangladesh building collapse rises to 161

  • 54669839c677fa0d2f0f6a7067009a58.jpg

    Rescuers lower down a survivor from the debris of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. An eight-storey building housing several garment factories collapsed near Bangladesh’s capital on Wednesday, killing dozens of people and trapping many more under a jumbled mess of concrete. Rescuers tried to cut through the debris with earthmovers, drilling machines and their bare hands. (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad) (The Associated Press)

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    Bangladeshi rescuers squeeze through a gap to help pull out survivors spotted in the debris of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. An eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed near Bangladesh’s capital on Wednesday, killing dozens of people and trapping many more under a jumbled mess of concrete. Rescuers tried to cut through the debris with earthmovers, drilling machines and their bare hands. (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad) (The Associated Press)

  • fea3fea9c5f2f80d2f0f6a706700d33b.jpg

    Rescue workers use clothing to lower down survivors from the site of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. An eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed near Bangladesh’s capital on Wednesday, killing dozens of people and trapping many more under a jumbled mess of concrete. Rescuers tried to cut through the debris with earthmovers, drilling machines and their bare hands. (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad) (The Associated Press)

  • 66400fecc5cbf70d2f0f6a7067007e9a.jpg

    Rescuers carry a survivor out from the debris of a building that collapsed in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. An eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed near Bangladesh’s capital on Wednesday, killing dozens of people and trapping many more under a jumbled mess of concrete. Rescuers tried to cut through the debris with earthmovers, drilling machines and their bare hands. (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad) (The Associated Press)

A government minister says the death toll in a factory building collapse in Bangladesh has reached 161 as rescue workers continue to hunt for more survivors and victims.

The junior minister for Home Affairs, Shamsul Haque, says that by late Thursday morning a total of 2,000 people had been rescued from the wreckage of the building.

Wednesday's accident has reignited questions about the often lethal conditions in the country's garment industry.

The disaster in the Dhaka suburb of Savar came less than five months after a factory fire killed 112 people and underscored the unsafe conditions faced by Bangladesh's garment workers, who produce clothes for global brands worn around the world.