August 5, 2021, 11:16 pm

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Death toll from Narayanganj factory fire rises to 52

Narayanganj Correspondent: The devastating fire that broke out at Rupganj Sejan Juice Factory here last evening (Thursday) has claimed at least 52 lives and 50 others received injuries, district administration and firefighters said today.

As many as 49 bodies were recovered so far as the firefighters started recovering bodies from the debris after the blaze was brought under control at about 1:15 pm today after several hours of frantic efforts.

“The fire service personnel recovered 49 bodies so far from there . . . The rescue campaign led by Fire Service and Civil Defense still continues to search the bodies there,”  Narayanganj Deputy Commissioner (DC) Md Mostain Billah told BSS this afternoon.

Earlier, Narayanganj district deputy director of the Fire Service and Civil Defense Abdul Al Arifin told BSS that three people, including two female workers, died when they jumped off the roof yesterday after being burnt in the blaze.

He said the fire originated at 5:30 pm yesterday from the second floor of the seven-storey building located in Kornogop area of Bhulta union under Rupganj upazila.

Police said at least 50 people, mostly the factory workers and employees, received injuries in the fire that broke out at the factory of Hashem Foods Ltd, a sister concern of Sajeeb Group.

The injured were undergoing treatment at various hospitals, including Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), while the bodies were sent to DMCH morgue.

Deputy Director of the Fire Service Saleh Uddin Chowdhury earlier said due to presence of chemicals and flammable substances like polythene, ghee and other objects in the factory, it was very tough to control the blaze, though 26 firefighters’ unit continued their relentless efforts since last evening.

Meanwhile, our Narayanganj Correspondent reports, smoke is still coming out from the debris of the fire. Relatives of the missing ones are staging demonstration outside and around the factory premises. Police in large numbers are trying to control the situation,

Earlier in the day, a list of 38 missing people was prepared by police, confirmed Sub-Inspector (SI) Mithun Lal Vaidya of Bhulta Police Outpost under Rupganj Police Station.

However, fire service and civil defense director (operations) Lieutenant Colonel Zillur Rahman said, “Almost all the bodies recovered today could not be recognized. So these bodies were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for DNA test. “

He added that the bodies would be hand over to their respective relatives after identifying through DNA tests.

He said, “We would launch a combing search on the fifth and sixth floors and the entire building to become sure whether anyone’s body is lying anywhere.”

The district administration donated Taka 25 thousand for burial of each victim while Taka 10 thousand for each of seriously injured.

Earlier, the district administration formed a five-member committee making Narayanganj Additional Deputy Commissioner Shamim Bepari convener to investigate the incident, our local correspondent reported.

The committee has been asked to submit its probe report within seven days.

-Bss.

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