(Dhaka) The owner of a food factory in Bangladesh, whose fire lasted more than 24 hours and killed 52 people, has been arrested for manslaughter and may be prosecuted for illegally working children.
On Saturday, police announced the arrest of Abul Hashim and his four sons, as well as three other officials of the factory in the industrial city of Rupganj, near Dhaka, which produced sweets, noodles and fruit juices.
Firefighters took more than 24 hours to store specific plastic and flammable chemicals in Thursday’s fire at the building.
When help arrived on the third floor, they found 48 bodies. Firefighters said workers could not escape because the access door to the main stairway, which could have taken refuge on the roof, was locked.
Local police chief Jayatul Alam said the door was not only locked but many safety rules were not followed at the factory.
“It was a deliberate murder,” he said.
Prior to the arrest, the owner had suggested that the fire may have been “the result of negligence on the part of the workers,” believing it may have been caused by a badly extinguished cigarette fire.
The children paid 30 0.30 per hour
Labor Minister Monujan Sufyan also pointed out that an inquiry has been launched into the employment of children in the factory.
One woman said she spoke to two 14-year-old boys who survived a fire at the hospital and that her 11-year-old child, who worked in the factory, was missing.
Lois Begum, who waited for hours in front of the burning factory, said he had no news from his 11-year-old nephew, who worked on the third floor.
“We heard the third floor door was locked. When we saw how big the fire was, we realized he was dead, ”she said with tears in her eyes.
Prior to the cremation of the factory, the AFP spoke to about 30 survivors and relatives of the victims, who confirmed that the children were working in the factory at 20 taka (30 0.30).
Bilal Hossain, the father of 14-year-old Mittu Akhtar, who has yet to be found, went to the doctors outside the morgue to search for his daughter’s remains.
“I sent my little girl to death! How am I going to tell his mom that? He lamented.
The minister, while talking about the children he saw in the hospital, told the young man that he was 14 years old.
The law in Bangladesh allows minors to work from the age of 14, but in hazardous jobs, Mr. who is not in the factory.Me Sufian.
“If it is proved that he employed children, we will punish not only the employer but also the labor inspectors,” he added.
In Bangladesh, a poor country in South Asia, especially in its large textile industry, fire and building collapses are common due to non-compliance with safety standards. The reforms promised by the government in this area are slow to take effect.
In 2013, the collapse of Rana Plaza, a nine-storey complex that housed garment factories in Dhaka, killed more than 1,100 people.
As for the unions, this new play illustrates how much respect there is for labor law.
According to the International Labor Organization, the fire explains the “urgent need” of the authorities and the Bangladeshi construction industry to ensure that factories meet safety standards.
The UN has called on the government to “seriously address security breaches in the workplace across the country.” The company asked.