- 52 useless, 20 injured after large fireplace rages by Dhaka manufacturing facility.
- Firefighters are struggling to manage it, says official.
- Police say a probe has began and authorized motion might be taken.
DHAKA: Not less than 52 folks had been killed and 20 injured after a large fireplace raged by a juice-making manufacturing facility in Bangladesh, officers mentioned on Friday, the most recent industrial accident in a rustic with a observe file of poor working circumstances.
The fireplace began late Thursday on the bottom flooring of a six-story manufacturing facility constructing in Narayanganj, southeast of Dhaka, and was nonetheless raging Friday night as firefighters scrambled to manage it.
Flames rose from the highest flooring of the constructing, the place many staff had jumped out from to flee, as a key exit out of the working areas was locked, mentioned fireplace official Abdullah Al Arefin.
“Three folks died from leaping off the constructing to flee the hearth and 49 charred our bodies have been recovered,” Mustain Billah, the administrator for the Narayanganj district, told Reuters by phone from the scene.
“Firefighters are struggling to control it, as chemicals and flammable materials were stored inside the building,” he added.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but police official Abdullah Al Mamun told reporters that three police teams have been dispatched to probe the incident and legal action would be taken against those responsible for the fire.
Dozens of disasters occur in Bangladesh each year due to poor fire and building safety standards. The latest incident is the worst since August 2016, when more than 100 people fell ill in the southern Chittagong city after inhaling gas that leaked from a fertiliser factory.
Past accidents have mired the country’s robust textiles sector, which employs millions of people and contributes the most to Bangladesh’s economy.
Industry officials promised better safety standards after the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Dhaka that killed more than 1,000 workers and injured hundreds. But many factories still fall short.
“We demand speedy trial and punishment of those responsible for this tragic murder incident through a fair investigation,” the nonprofit Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust said in a statement. It also sought compensation for impacted workers and a probe into the cause of the fire, including reports of locked exits.
The factory is owned by the private firm Hashem Food and Beverage, a unit of Bangladesh’s multinational Sajeeb Group. Officials at both companies did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment on Friday.
Al Arefin said each building floor is about 35,000 square feet (3,250 square metres) but they were only accessible by two stairways, which many workers couldn’t get to as the fire had spread there. Some escaped to the roof from the stairs and were rescued, but many couldn’t, as a door leading to the roof was locked.
Dozens of family members protested outside the plant, demanding justice. But some, like Nazma Begum, were still looking for those lost. “There isn’t a justice! The place is my son?” Begum cried out.