Disasters & Accidents

Bangladesh arrests factory owner after fire kills 52

Dhaka, Jul 10 (EFE).- Police in Bangladesh on Saturday arrested at least eight people in connection with a devastating factory fire that killed 52 people, mostly workers, near the capital Dhaka.

The owner of the Narayanganj district factory and his four sons were among the detainees.

Deputy inspector general of Dhaka police, Habibur Rahman, said the eight had been accused of of murder.

“If we find the involvement of any other people they will also be arrested,” he added.

The massive fire broke out at the Hashem food and beverages factory on Thursday evening and firefighters spent hours trying to put out the blaze that swept through the six-floor building.

The intense heat of the fire caused cracks in the building and melted glass and aluminum.

The fire was finally brought under control on Friday morning, after which the search for bodies and survivors was intensified.

Firefighters on Friday found 49 bodies inside the factory, all in one floor which they said was locked. Three other people died in hospital, while the accident left 25 people injured.

Debashis Bardhan, deputy director of the Fire Service and Civil Defence, told Efe that the search for bodies continued on Saturday but none had been found.

“Smoke was coming out from some compartments today, so we continued our operation. But we did not find any other bodies,” he said.

Authorities at the Dhaka Medical College hospital told reporters a total of 37 people had given DNA samples to help identify missing relatives from the charred bodies left in the morgue.

One such person is Durjoy Barman, who was looking for his 14-year-old sister Champa Rani.

“She joined the factory only seven days ago. Her school is closed due to Covid-19, so we allowed to start work to gain some experience,” Durjoy told Efe.

Zaher Ahmed, another resident from Narayanganj, said his wife Firoza Begum remained missing since the fire incident.

“She was working in a garment factory. Just three months ago she joined this factory because it was close to our home. Now she is gone and I don’t know how I will console our only daughter,” Zaher said, in tears.

Fires and other industrial accidents are common in Bangladesh.

In 2019, a large-scale fire at a chemical products plant in the same area killed 70 people and injured 55.

In 2012, at least 119 people were killed by a fire in a clothes factory in the country.EFE


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