Bangladesh Police Arrest Factory Owner After Dozens Die In Fire

Bangladesh Police Arrest Factory Owner After Dozens Die In Fire

Bangladeshi police arrested the owner of a factory where at least 52 people died in hell, after it emerged children as young as 11 were working there.

Police said the owner of the food factory and four of his sons were among eight people detained for the blaze that broke out on Thursday and raged for more than a day. The fire started in the evening at the five-story Hashem Foods factory in Rupganj, just outside Dhaka.

A separate investigation has been launched into the use of child labor in the establishment.

Jayedul Alam, police chief of the Narayanganj district where the factory is located, said the entrance was padlocked at the time of the fire and the factory violated several fire and safety regulations . Many of those who died were trapped and several workers jumped from the upper floors, dozens of them were injured.

Emergency services found 48 of the bodies on the third floor of the plant.

A spokesperson for the fire department said the exit door to the main staircase had been padlocked. Highly flammable chemicals and plastics had been stored in the building.

Monnujan Sufian, Minister of State for Labor, said investigations had started into the use of child laborers in the factory.

Sufian said she spoke in a hospital to two 14-year-old survivors. A woman said her 11-year-old nephew worked at the factory and was missing, fearing she was dead.

Bangladesh pledged reforms after the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 when a nine-story complex collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.

But there have been a series of fires and other disasters since then. In February 2019, at least 70 people died when a fire ravaged apartments in Dhaka where chemicals were illegally stored.

The country has a history of industrial disasters, including factories that caught fire with workers locked inside. Continued corruption and lax law enforcement have claimed many lives over the years, and major international brands, which employ tens of thousands of low-paid workers in Bangladesh, have come under pressure to improve conditions. factory after fires and other disasters killed thousands of people.

The factory that caught fire on Thursday was a subsidiary of the Sajeeb Group, a Bangladeshi company that produces juice under Pakistani company Shezan International, said Kazi Abdur Rahman, the group’s senior general manager for export.

According to the group’s website, the company exports its products to countries such as Australia, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Bhutan, Nepal, the Middle East and Africa.


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