Millennium Post

Bangladesh fire tragedy toll goes up, 11 missing

The fire on Saturday broke out following a powerful boiler explosion at the four-storey Tempako Packaging Factory in Tongi industrial area, north of the capital Dhaka. 

Eleven people still remained missing based on information from their relatives, said Fatema-Tuz-Zohra, an official of the control room that the Gazipur administration has opened. 

About 100 people were inside the food and cigarette packaging unit when the explosion occurred and the fire spread quickly because of flammable chemicals stored in the building. 

More than 24 hours after the tragedy, several relatives of the people missing in the accident gathered in front of the unit part of which was reduced to ashes on Saturday. 

Industrious Minister Amir Hossain Amu said that Bangladesh government will take strong action against anyone found guilty of negligence. 

“The matter is being investigated and steps will be taken if anyone is found guilty,” Amu told reporters after visiting the site on Sunday.  He said his ministry has decided to launch an investigation in all factories to check out their equipment.  “We have instructed to check for leakages, electrical malfunction and the boilers.” 

Low-cost manufacturing is the mainstay in Bangladesh, one of the world’s top garment exporters with a USD 27-billion industry. But a series of industrial disasters in recent years have raised questions about its safety standards.  Tighter controls have been introduced, but dozens of workers still die every year.  At least 13 people died in a fire at a plastic factory in Dhaka last year. 
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