12:00 AM, December 19, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 19, 2012

Negligence a big factor

Govt probe report blames Tazreen management staff

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Staff Correspondent

Apart from blaming the owner, the government probe team has held responsible mid-level managers of Tazreen Fashions for their "unforgivable negligence," causing last month's fire that killed at least 112 workers.
The probe report, submitted to the home ministry on Monday after a three-week inquiry, said mid-level managers locked the collapsible gates and fled for safer places when workers tried to get out of the factory after fire alarm was set off.
The blaze took about 30 minutes to spread, but it should take only about five to seven minutes for about 1,000 workers to get out the factory, it added.
"As the collapsible gates were locked and there was no emergency exit, hundreds of workers were suffocated and burnt to death as they did not find any other way to escape."
The four-member probe body held Delowar Hossain and eight others responsible for the "unforgivable negligence" and recommended bringing them to book.
The eight are Abdur Razzak, factory manager, Shahiduzzaman Dulal, quality manager, Mobarak Hossain Monju, production manager, Sohel Rana, assistant production manager, Harun ur Rashid, assistant general manager and Al-Amin, security in-charge, of Tazreen Fashions, and M Mahbubul Morshed, engineer of Apostrophe Engineers in Mohakhali.
Quoting Lily, a sewing machine operator, who also gave witness to the probe committee, the report said: "At about 7:00pm [on November 24] when she was going down from the third floor through the northeast stairs she saw that at the middle of the ground floor four people were trying to douse the fire using their hands.
"It appears that the spread of the fire was within a small area initially."
"She [Lily] also saw that the fire spread throughout the room after security supervisor Al-Amin poured one bucket of something on the fire. She saw director Shahjahan, factory manager Razzak, security in-charge Al-Amin and an unknown worker from the cutting section."
Lily forced her way out of the factory although Director Shahjahan tried to stop her from going out, said the report.
The probe report said the local fire office was informed about the fire 30 minutes after the fire broke out.

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