DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladeshi police are investigating possible murder charges against the owner of a shoddily built factory that collapsed nearly two weeks ago after the wife of a garment worker crushed in the accident filed a complaint.
The development comes as officials said Monday that the death toll from the country's worst industrial disaster had reached 675.
Sheuli Akter, the wife of Jahangir Alam, filed the complaint with Dhaka magistrate Wasim Sheikh, saying her husband and other workers were "pushed toward death" by building owner Mohammed Sohel Rana and two others.
Alam was employed in New Wave Styles Ltd., one of the five garment factories housed in the eight-story Rana Plaza that collapsed April 24 as workers started their morning shift even though cracks had developed in the building.
New Wave Styles owner Bazlul Adnan and local government engineer Imtemam Hossain were the two others accused in the case.
Magistrate Sheikh ordered police to investigate the complaints, and local police chief Mohammed Asaduzzman said Monday that they would now investigate possible murder charges.
A conviction for murder can result in a death sentence in Bangladesh.
Nine people, including Rana and Adanan, have already been arrested on other charges. Rana faces charges such as negligence and illegal construction, which are punishable by a maximum of seven years in jail.