Police have arrested a director of Sheema Oxygen Limited, hours after a panel investigating the deadly explosion at the company’s Sikakunda plant handed its report to the Chattogram district administration.
Mahbubur Rahman, chief of Industrial Police, confirmed bdnews24.com that Parvez Uddin Shantu, the arrestee, currently holds the position as one of the company's directors along with his two brothers, Mamun Uddin, the managing director of the parent company Sheema Group, and Ashraf Uddin Bappi, another director.
The three brothers were accused in the case filed by the relative of a victim of the deadly explosion in the plant on Mar 4 that tore through the facility, leaving at least seven people dead and around 25 others injured.
Rokeya Begum, the widow of one of the deceased Abdul Quader, started the case at Sitakunda Police Station on Mar 6, accusing 16 people, including the owners, alleging that their negligence had caused the oxygen plant explosion that killed her husband and six others.
Sheema Group used the gas from the plant in its steel mill – Sheema Auto Re-rolling Mills Ltd, with the brand name SARM.
Last Friday, the company agreed to pay Tk 1 million each in compensation to the families of those killed by the explosion.
The two workers who lost their legs and eyes will receive Tk 500,000 each in damages. Other injured workers will receive Tk 200,000 each to cover their medical expenses.
The injured will continue to get their salaries and other allowances until they return to work.
Details of the probe were not immediately revealed.
The report will then be forwarded to the ministry and other government offices. Once approved, the panel's findings will be shared with the media, officials with district administration confirmed.
In the wake of the incident, a seven-strong probe committee was formed to submit its findings within five days.
Following the explosion, it was reported that the factory was run by two diploma engineers and a supervisor from a liberal arts background.
The owners claimed the company complies with all rules and regulations, but government authorities said they found irregularities at the plant during previous visits. The factory did not have the necessary environmental clearance, fire safety plan, or boiler licence.