Chattogram administration receives probe report on Sheema Oxygen blast

The findings of the investigation were not immediately revealed

Published : 14 March 2023, 07:27 AM
Updated : 14 March 2023, 07:27 AM

The panel investigating the deadly explosion at Sheema Oxygen Limited’s Sikakunda plant has handed its report to the Chattogram district administration.

Details of the probe, however, were not immediately revealed.

The formalities related to the submission of the report will be completed at 3 pm on Tuesday, according to Deputy Commissioner Abul Bashar Md Fakhruzzaman.

The report will then be forwarded to the ministry and other government offices. Once it is approved, the panel's findings will be shared with the media, he said.

The Sitakunda plant produced oxygen for industrial use. On Mar 4, a horrific blast tore through the facility, leaving at least seven people dead and around 25 others injured.

In the wake of the incident, a seven-strong probe committee was formed with a mandate of submitting its findings within five days. Additional Magistrate Rakib Hasan headed the committee.

Prior to visiting the site, Additional District Magistrate Rakib Hossain had said an ‘air separation column’ in the plant may have caused the blast.

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 was compliant 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.

The Sheema Oxygen plant halted operations after the blast. The owners agreed to pay Tk 1 million each in compensation to the families of those who died in the explosion.

Also, the two workers who lost their legs and eyes would receive Tk 500,000 each in compensation. Other injured workers would get 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.

Sheema Oxygen assured that the affected workers would retain their jobs. Also, jobs at the factory would be available to family members of the dead workers.