More than 1,000 workers of Starlight sweater factory at Chowdhuribari, near Joydebpur Chowrasta in Gazipur, fell ill after drinking water from the factory’s supply line, on Wednesday. More than 300 workers were admitted in Gazipur Sadar hospital, while 200 workers were admitted in Tongi government hospital, 400 in Tairunnesa Medical College Hospital and about a total of 200 were admitted in Sataish International Medical College Hospital and Bangladesh Medical College Hospital in Uttara.
At least 50 employees, working in the first shift, fell sick, when they drank water from a supply line of the building’s seventh floor, at around 9 pm, according to an ailing worker. Many workers started vomiting and felt stomach ache. The authorities rushed the workers to the hospitals.
Deputy commissioner of Gazipur, Mohammed Nurul Islam, a senior police officer of Gazipur industrial police, and a medical team from Gazipur civil surgeon’s office, rushed to the factory. A large number of law enforcers have been deployed, to maintain law and order. The factory authority has declared a one-day leave.
Mujibur Rahman, the factory’s executive director, said, “I don’t know how this happened. We lift water using pumps from the underground, and store it in several water tanks on the factory rooftop.
Water tanks are cleaned every day. We are trying to ascertain the reason of contamination.”
The Gazipur DC said, “It’s too early to say how this happened. It may be due to the poisoning of water. A medical team from Dhaka is coming to collect the water sample. After their analysis, we’ll be able to find out the cause.”
The health ministry secretary has been informed of the incident. Gazipur civil surgeon, Dr Syeed Mohammad Habibullah, said, “I could not go to the factory, but I have sent a medical team, to collect water sample from the factory.”
Meanwhile, the ASP of Gazipur industrial police, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, said that additional police contingents and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) had been deployed in front of the factory, to avert any untoward incident.
-With The Independent input