Ctg depot fire: Owners not sued by cops
Police yesterday sued eight officials of the fire-ravaged BM Container Depot for negligence but left out the owners of the depot.
A fire at the depot on Saturday night claimed 45 lives and left over 200 people with injuries.
Of the officials accused, some suffered injuries in the blasts that took place after the fire broke out, depot staffers said.
According to its website, the BM Container Dept Ltd is a Netherlands-Bangladesh joint venture of which Bert Pronk is the chairman and Mostafizur Rahman is the managing director.
Mostafizur is the brother of Mujibur Rahman, a depot director and treasurer of Chattogram South unit Awami League.
Sub-inspector Ashraf Siddique of Sitakunda Model Police Station filed the case against the officials and some unspecified number of unnamed people early yesterday.
Inspector (investigation) Suman Banik was made the investigation officer for the case.
"We did not include the owners in the first information report of the case because they were not present at the spot [when the fire broke out]. These officials were present. They did not let the firefighters know that the containers contained explosive chemicals," said SI Siddique.
All day, police refused to disclose the names of the named accused "for the sake of fair investigation". This paper, however, obtained a copy of the case statement
The eight named are: Deputy General Manger (admin) Md Nurul Akter, DGM (sales and marketing) Nazmul Akter Khan, Manager Khaledur Rahman, Assistant Admin Officer Md Abbas Ullah, Senior Executive Md Nasir Uddin, Assistant Manager Md Abdul Aziz, in-charges Saiful Islam and Nazrul Islam.
Saiful Islam suffered injuries to his eyes and burns to his arms, legs and ear, his younger brother Monirul Islam said.
Saiful is currently receiving treatment at the National Institute of Opthalmology and Hospital, Monirul added.
Contacted, Sitakunda Circle Additional Superintendent of Police Ashraful Karim said the names of owners would be included in the list of accused if the police found their involvement after a probe.
According to the case statement, the deaths and causalities were the results of the "deliberate negligence" of the accused in taking proper precautionary measures for storing hazardous chemicals, failing to disseminate information regarding the chemicals, and not equipping the depot with proper firefighting gear and people.
Meanwhile, the fire was completely doused yesterday noon, around 86 hours after it broke out.
"After dousing the fire completely, we inspected the entire depot and could not find any more bodies," said Lt Col Ariful Islam, commander of the 18th Brigade of Bangladesh Army's 24th Infantry Division, yesterday.
There is a lot of rubble in the area. It is not possible right now to say whether anything remains under the debris, he said.
"There were around 4,400 containers in the depot. Initially, we have come to know that 400 containers were destroyed," he said.
Meanwhile, Masud Rana, 35, a victim of the Sitakunda fire, died of his injuries at the ICU of Chattogram Medical College Hospital.
The firefighters also recovered the remains of "a person" from the depot around 6:30am yesterday.
"The remains have been sent to Chattogram Medical College Hospital for DNA tests and identification. It appears that the body parts might be of a single person," said police officer Ashraful Karim.