Dhaka, May 3 (IANS) The toll in last week's building collapse on the outskirts of Bangladesh capital Dhaka climbed to 501 Friday, the authorities said.
Ten days into one of Bangladesh's worst tragedies, relatives of those trapped inside say scores of people were still unaccounted for.
Officials had earlier said rescuers have pulled alive more than 2,437 people after eight-storeyed building Rana Plaza crumbled like a house of cards April 24.
"The death toll from the building collapse has climbed to 501, including 24 bodies which were recovered Friday morning," a police official told Xinhua Friday.
He said rescuers continued their relentless efforts to pull out many more bodies which were spotted Friday morning.
Of the bodies, he said 393 have so far been handed over to their relatives.
Rescuers have left hope of finding any more survivors, but they believe that there might have many more bodies in the rubble of the collapsed building where relatives say they won't leave until they had received the bodies.
Bangladesh authorities are not deploying heavy machinery amid concern that tearing chunks from the building might jeopardize the safety of anyone clinging to life beneath the sandwiched floors of the building.
How many people still remain missing is a big question which officials still cannot answer. All they can say is they do not have the exact number.
"The rescue operation would have been easier had we had a list of the people working on
different floors," Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence, was quoted as saying in a report of The Daily Star Friday.