Death toll from Gazipur boiler explosion rises to 13 as rescue efforts end

A boiler explosion has left 13 dead in a Gazipur apparel factory, rescuers said as their operation ended on Tuesday night.

Published : 3 July 2017, 02:53 PM
Updated : 4 July 2017, 09:56 PM

Some were found dead amid the debris of a collapsed wall of the Noapara-based Multifabs, while others died in hospitals.

The explosion in the dyeing section partially brought down the wall of the four-storey factory in Kashimpur around 7:00pm Monday.

"Six dead bodies were recovered from the debris right after the explosion. Then three injured persons died during treatment in Dhaka and Gazipur hospitals," said Md Akhtaruzzaman, deputy assistant director of Gazipur Fire Service.

"A man's body was found in the ruins in the morning. Three more were found in the afternoon."

The three men, whose bodies were recovered last, had been reported missing, he said. "They were identified by their relatives."  

They were Ershadul Haque of Feni Sadar, Masud Rana of Patuakhali's Baufol and Md Nazrul Islam of Gaibandha's Saghata.   

The others were also identified.

They are Mahbubur Rahman, 23, of Bogra's Sonatala, Abdus Salam, 55, of Chittagong's Mirsarai, Gias Uddin, 30, of Chandpur's Madna, Al Amin, 30, of Magura's Harishpur, Biplab Chandra Shil, 38, from Rajbari's Goalanda, Mojibur Rahman, 37, of Brahmanbaria's Nasirnagar, Monsurul Haque, 35, of Chittagong's Katachara, Arshad Hossain, 40, of Chittagong's Mirsarai, Amiruzzaman, 35, of Naogaon Sadar and Soleiman Miah, 30 of Gaibandha's Palashbari.

The bodies were handed to their relatives after rescue work ended at 9pm, along with Tk 20,000 in financial aid for each of the victims.

Among the injured, 'Rukon', 25, and Kamrul Islam, 32, were being treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.    

Multifabs factory was shut indefinitely on Tuesday morning, said Gazipur Industrial Police Inspector Abdul Khalek.

He said 10 neighbouring factories, including Cotton Club, Islam Knitwear, Alim Fashion Limited, Delta Fashion, Masko Limited, were also closed for Tuesday to keep the situation under control.

The Multifabs factory was supposed to open on Tuesday following the Eid holidays. The dyeing unit's boiler section was opened on Monday afternoon as part of the factory's preparations for resuming operations.

A committee formed by the district administration that started investigating on Tuesday morning said the boiler was outdated.

The eight-member panel was being headed by Additional District Magistrate Md Raihanul Islam. The fire service also formed a committee headed by Dilip Kumar Ghosh, Assistant Director of Fire Service and Civil Defence in Dhaka.  

More than 50 workers were at the factory’s boiler section at the time of the explosion and very few of them managed to escape unhurt.

Witnesses said doors, windows, machinery and a section of the wall of the second floor were caught up in the blast and went flying.

A case will be started over the fatal blast, said State Minister of Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu during a visit to the factory in the afternoon.

The families of the dead victims will receive Tk 800,000, he said. Of that Tk 200,000 will be paid by the ministry for insurance and the rest in financial aid.

The treatment of the injured will also be paid for by the government, he said. 

The factory owners have also promised to pay Tk 300,000 in damages for each family.

The factory's chairman Mohiuddin Faruqui has also said able members of affected families will be given jobs.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher