Savar Upazila administration has now taken the initiative to locate and compile a list of all factories that are illegally operating without proper documents and approval from the concerned departments that could be posing threat to human life and result in deadly accidents., said Mazharul Islam, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Savar.
“After noticing that the factory where the fire took place yesterday and caused three deaths, has not received any kind of approval or permission to run the factory from the concerned department, we issued an official letter to Ashulia union Parishad to form a probe committee to find out and make a list of such factories, the number of workers, and detail about their activities, and later we will send this information to the government to take further necessary steps against them.”, Islam told Bangladesh Post.
Earlier on Wednesday after noon a devastating fire broke out at a factory named ‘Uni World Footwear Ltd’, located Bangabandhu road at Tongabari area in Ashulia, and at least three were burned to death and 20 others injured.
The deceased were identified as Sumaiya, 12, daughter of Imarat Hossain, hailed from Malotipara village of Tangail district, and Shahanara Begum, 45, wife of Abdul Hamid from Khulna’s Paikgacha Upazila. However, another was identified as a male but his detailed identity could not be identified as his body has burned fully, confirmed Sudip Kumar Gop, SI, Ashulia police station, adding that processing to take legal steps in this regard was underway, and the unidentified body has been sent to hospital morgue for DNA test.
As per Fire officials, the fire took place 5:17 pm and later 8 firefighters units from several stations were able to douse the fire under control around 7:10 pm in an effort of one and half hours and recovered three bodies inside the factory and one of them was totally burnt.
Abdul Alim, Deputy Assistant Director of Fire Service (Zone-04) confirmed that the factory had been operating illegally and had no approval from the fire service or other concerned departments.
"Primarily, we found that the factory was set up violating fire safety rules, as well as there was no emergency gate to move out in an emergency condition, that basically caused the deaths, as the three people who were burned to death in this incident were not able to come out as the fire basically took place next to the only way to get out of the factory”, Alim said, adding that they suspect the fire broke out from a machine, and chemicals stored inside the factory helped to spread the fire quickly.
Mazharul Islam, the UNO, however, said they will provide taka 25 thousand to each deceased family on behalf of the District administration, and they will track and make a list of all illegal factories across the Upazila in phases.
Md. Anwar Hossain, Assistant Director, acting, (Warehouse and Fire Prevention) of Fire Service and Civil Defence Directorate told Bangladesh Post that a probe committee will be formed over the issues to further investigation.
However, Bangladesh Post could not reach any of the factory authorities as it yet to be known who owned the factory, as well as none of them, visited the factory yet since the fire incident took place, besides factory workers claimed a manager was also inside the factory during fire but he later runs on the hide after the incident.