Factory fire in Chittagong

A fire swept through a shoe manufacturing factory in Chittagong Export Processing Zone (EPZ) on Sunday.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 29 June 2013, 09:19 PM
Updated : 30 June 2013, 02:55 AM

14 vehicles of 3 fire service units brought the blaze under control, about six hours after the fire began, Chittagong Fire Service and Civil Defence Control Room official said.

The fire broke out around 3:30am at ‘Papella Shoes’ located on road-4 in the EPZ area. It was not clear how the fire broke out and if there were any casualties. Estimate of losses were not also available.

Though Chittagong was experiencing rain in the morning, it had no effect in checking the fire so far.

They said it took them long to enter the factory as its main gate was closed.

Agrabad fire station Deputy Director Ruhul Amin told bdnews24.com they were trying their best. “We hope we can soon control the fire.”
EPZ Police Station OC Mansur Ahmed was apprehensive that the flames may spread as there were stocks of leather and processing chemicals inside the factory.
“The factory was closed in the night. We are not aware of any casualties.”
A factory of ‘Excelsior Shoes’, an affiliate of 'Papella Shoes" caught fire last month and suffered a lot of damage.
The group’s Deputy Managing Director Mohammad Ruhul Amin claimed that the May fire led to losses of around Tk 460 million..
‘Papella Shoes’ and ‘Excelsior Shoes’ are wholly export-driven concerns which avails of GSP to market their products to Europe and Canada.
The April-June phase is considered ‘peak time’ for these factories. Nearly 650 workers each work in these two factories.

Bangladesh's industrial safety has been a cause of concern and subject to much criticism since last November's Tazreen garment factory fire killed 110 workers and the Rana Plaza collapse in April that killed nealry 1200 people, again mostly garment factory workers.

The US says it has suspended GSP to goad Bangladesh into improving its industrial safety standards.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher