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Toll in Bangladesh building collapse passes 300

Friday - 4/26/2013, 11:50am  ET

SAVAR, Bangladesh (AP) -- It's been more than two days since a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, but authorities say at least some workers are still alive in the debris today -- pinned beneath tons of mangled metal and concrete.

Rescuers continue the effort to save them, knowing they probably have just a few hours to live.

The number of dead has topped 300, and it's unclear what the final toll will be. A military spokesman told reporters that 304 bodies had been recovered.

A general who is overseeing rescue operations says 2,200 people have been saved. Garment manufacturers say the building employed more than 3,100 workers, but it's not clear how many of them were inside when it collapsed Wednesday in a suburb of the capital, Dhaka.

Rescue workers say they are proceeding very cautiously inside the crumbling building, using the hands, hammers and shovels.

A military official says the rescue operations will continue until at least Saturday.

Police have cordoned off the site, pushing back thousands of bystanders and relatives, after rescue workers said the crowds were hampering their work. Clashes later erupted between relatives of those still trapped and police officers, who used batons to disperse the mobs. Dozens were injured.

One man whose mother is missing said he wants to go inside and look for her.

%@AP Links

164-c-15-(Muneeza Naqvi (moo-NEE'-zah nahk-VEE'), AP correspondent)-"themselves to help"-AP correspondent Muneeza Naqvi reports anger is rising among familes and fellow garment industry workers after this week's building collapse disaster. (26 Apr 2013)

<> 00:15 "themselves to help"

162-c-16-(Muneeza Naqvi (moo-NEE'-zah nahk-VEE'), AP correspondent)-"of the building"-AP correspondent Muneeza Naqvi reports victims from the garment factory collapse still are being rescued from the rubble, but soon the search for survivors will end. (26 Apr 2013)

<> 00:16 "of the building"

163-c-11-(Muneeza Naqvi (moo-NEE'-zah nahk-VEE'), AP correspondent)-"numbers may change"-AP correspondent Muneeza Naqvi reports the death toll in the garment factory collapse is nearing 300 with more than 2000 injured or missing. ((watch for dating)) (26 Apr 2013)

<> 00:11 "numbers may change"

GRAPHICSBANK: A Bangladeshi garment worker who was pulled alive from the rubble is wheeled on a stretcher at the site of a building that collapsed, Savar, Bangladesh, on texture, partial graphic (26 Apr 2013)

APPHOTO DEL110: FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 file photo, Bangladeshi firefighters battle a fire at Tazreen garment factory in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. As Bangladesh reels from the deaths of hundreds of garment workers in a building that collapsed Wednesday, April 24, 2013, the refusal of global retailers to pay for strict nationwide factory inspections is bringing renewed scrutiny to an industry that has profited from a country notorious for its hazardous workplaces and subsistence level wages. After the Tazreen factory fire killed 112 garment workers in November, clothing brands and retailers continued to reject a union-sponsored proposal to improve safety throughout Bangladesh's $20 billion garment industry. (AP Photo/Hasan Raza, File) (25 Nov 2012)

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