Dhaka, July 10: Bangladesh police on Saturday arrested eight people, including the owner of a factory and his sons, in connection with the fire in their food processing unit which killed at least 52 people, according to media reports.
The fire broke out at the factory in Narayanganj outside Bangladesh’s capital on Thursday. The authorities have put the death toll at 52 from the bodies recovered so far.
Forty-nine workers died after being trapped on the third floor with its only exit locked. Three others also died after jumping off the six-storey factory.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the owner, several directors and managers of the Sajeeb Group and its sister concern Hashem Food Ltd were among those taken into custody by police, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
“No one will be spared if their negligence is found over the incident,” the minister warned.
Police are seeking a 10-day remand order from a court to question Hashem and others over the deadly blaze, according to Rupganj Police Inspector Humayun Kabir Molla.
Apart from Sajeeb Group Chairman and Managing Director Md Abul Hashem, his four sons, including Deputy Managing Director Hasib Bin Hashem and Director Tareq Ibrahim were also named in the case, according to Narayanganj’s Superintendent of Police Zaidul Alam.
Sajeeb Group is the parent company of Hashem Foods Ltd, the scene of the devastating fire. (PTI)
The home minister earlier visited the gutted factory.
The Home Ministry formed a committee to look into the fire incident.
The probe report will be submitted very soon and action will be taken quickly as well, the report said.
Narayanganj’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Alam said they will bring to book the others responsible for the tragic incident and the subsequent deaths after interrogating the eight arrestees.
“Police have filed a murder case with Rupganj Police Station against them. If we find anyone involved during the investigation, we will include them too,” The Daily Star Bangladesh quoted Alam as saying.
The action was taken as it emerged that many children were working in the factory.
Hashem, however, denied all responsibility for the factory fire and said there should not be any child labour in the factory.
Md Salauddin, the factory’s admin officer, said, “The issue about the age of the workers is wrong. They were hired after reviewing the relevant documents. If the age is low, it is the workers who tampered with the documents.”
The injured are undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and US-Bangla Medical College and Hospital at Rupganj.
Apart from the Home Ministry probe team, several other agencies and the local administration have also started investigations into the incident.
According to the Fire Service, a huge amount of plastic and packaging materials in the building had fueled the fire in just a few minutes after it broke out.
They said the blocked door at the factory’s staircase has caused so many deaths that could have been avoided. (PTI)