At least 10 workers were killed and two others suffered burns after a fire broke out at an electric fan and light bulb factory in Gazipur yesterday evening.
Firefighters recovered the charred bodies after dousing the fire on the top floor of the three-storey Luxury Fan and Light factory in Keshorita area of the city, said Mamunur Rashid, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence.
Traumatised family members primarily identified Rashed, 25, Shamim, 26, Faridul Islam, 18, and Uttam, 25, among the burnt bodies, a firefighter said.
Firefighters with four fire engines doused the fire around 7:30pm, over an hour after the fire broke out, he said.
The cause of the fire remains unknown, Mamunur said.
The district administration and police would hand the bodies to the families after DNA tests, he said.
The tragedy strikes only four days after a deadly fire at a plastic factory in Keraniganj left 19 workers dead.
The Gazipur factory was housed at a building not meant for industrial use. Located in a residential area, it had only one stairwell, officials said.
At least 19 people were working there when the fire broke out, officials said, quoting survivors.
Alamgir Hossain, a resident of the area, said he and several others rushed to the spot after hearing about the fire but couldn’t do anything as there were flames near the staircase.
“People trapped on the second floor were screaming for help… Their bodies were recovered after the fire was put out,” he added.
Another witness said, “We tried, but couldn’t go upstairs due to the scorching heat and smoke from the flames. I went up to the first floor with an extinguisher, but had to retreat.” Shamsunnahar, superintendent of police in Gazipur, said the factory only had one entrance and exit.
The factory management’s negligence may have caused the tragedy, she added.
After the fire broke out, the victims went to the rear side of the factory where they died, she added.
Firefighters said the victims might have died of suffocation before the flames got to them.
A five-member committee was formed by Gazipur administration to investigate into the incident.
The committee has been asked to submit its probe report within 10 working days, said Deputy Commissioner SM Tarikul Islam of Gazipur.
Pronoy Bhusan Das, medical officer of Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Medical College and Hospital said two workers were treated with minor burns on their hands, legs and backs.
The administration announced that each family of the dead workers would be given Tk 25,000 for burial.