Saturday, July 13, 2024

Dyeing factory fire kills 8

Eight people died early yesterday when a raging fire swept through five rooms of a roof-top shed of a garment-dyeing factory.
Deputy Commissioner Mohibul Haque of Dhaka said the fire intensified after it came in contact with dyeing chemicals stored in the shed of the four-storey Sonargaon Fancy Printing and Dyeing Ltd at Shyampur of Kadamtoli.
The deceased are: Chayon, 25, Habil, 25, and his twin Kabil, Abdul Aziz, 20 and Asmaul, 17, of Chuadanga, Habib Hossain, 22, of Chandpur, Almas, 20, of Shariatpur and Nayon, 15, a relative of a worker from Kishoreganj.
Fire brigade sources said the fire originated from an electric short circuit in a room of the shed and quickly spread to other rooms.
A major disaster was averted as the brave workers of the factory were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the floors below and douse the fire.
Witnesses said a huge plume of black smoke was coming out of the rooms around 4:20am and the victims got trapped inside their room.
Hannan, a mechanic of the factory, said he along with some workers rushed towards the shed but found the door to the roof locked.
They broke the door lock and later made a big hole in a wall of a room to pour water in.
They had very little water from the reservoir tank but they were able to douse the fire around 5:00am before the fire engines even reached the scene.
However, they found all eight people, who were sleeping in a room, dead.
Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Gazi Mozammel Huq of Wari zone said they are preparing to file a case against the owners of the factory in connection with having no fire extinguishing equipment. They said they have collected chemical evidence for testing as well.
DC Mohibul said the shed was built illegally and a portion of the shed was used for storing dyeing chemicals, putting the lives of the people who work at the factory at risk.
The two owners, Mizanur Rahman and Joynul Abedin, of the factory could not be found after the fire.
The bodies were sent to Mitford Hospital morgue where Executive Magistrate Mohammad Kamruzzaman said they were handing over the bodies to the families without autopsies as per the families’ wish.
He said the district administration gave each victim’s family Tk 10,000 for burial purpose.
In the last one year, 155 people died in separate chemical-related fire incidents in the capital.
On June 3 last year, 123 people, mostly women and children, died and scores were hurt in a deadly blaze, which originated from a chemical store in the densely populated Nimtoli of Old Dhaka.
On December 26, 10 people were killed in a fire at Goodknight Mosquito Coil and Spray warehouse at Khilkhet in the capital.
On October 6, at least 11 workers were burnt to death and four others suffered injuries at a chemical factory in the capital’s Dakkhin (South) Jatrabari.
THE FACTORY
The large four-storey factory building had a narrow entrance only through which over 250 workers and employees went in and out. Even though the building was large, there were no emergency or fire exits.
It ran 24 hours a day in two shifts.
The five-room shed was at one end of the roof while the other end had a water tank.
Three of the rooms were used by workers who stayed there. Two were for storing dyeing chemical cans.
Around 100 cans of dye and chemicals were found.
Factory workers said the security guards used to keep the lone entrance and exit to the building under lock and key.
Preferring anonymity some workers said if the door to the roof was left open, the rescuers could have saved lives.

 

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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