A Managing Director of a readymade garment factory and an Additional DIG of police were among the eight people killed in a devastating fire in the capital’s Mirpur on Wednesday night, police say.
The incident took place on the ground floor of Tung Hai Sweater Factory housed in an 11-storey building near Mirpur Bangla College on the Darussalam Road at around 11pm. The flames soon roared through to the second floor.
BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told reporters at the scene that the fire baffled them since the factory was closed. “We’ll look into the incident.”
The Additional Deputy Inspector General was named as ZA Morshed and the Managing Director as Mahbubur Rahman, who was also a Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The other casualties were identified as Rahman’s three friends – Comilla district Juba League President Sohel Mostafa Swapan, Emdadur Rahman Badal and Syed Nasim Reza – the DIG’s body guard Ripon Chakma, and Tung Hai Office Assistant Sahabuddin.
Another person, identified as a painter, died after being brought to the Square Hospital.
Officer-in-Charge of Darussalam Police Station Khalilur Rahman confirmed the casualties.
Sub-Inspector of Sher-e Bangla Nagar Police Station Razu Ahmed said Morshed’s body was taken to his Gulshan residence. Rahman’s body was kept at the Apollo Hospitals.
The bodies of all other victims were handed over to their relatives. Ripon’s body is kept at the police station.
Fire Service and Civil Defence control room official Nazrul Islam told bdnews24.com that 13 fire fighting units tamed the flames after about two hours of frantic efforts.
The factory’s General Manager Jamedur Rahman said the victims were having a meeting on the ninth floor of the building when the fire broke out.
He said that Morshed and Rahman were close friends and Morshed in plainclothes had come to see Rahman. The DIG went to the factory in a Pajero car.
A duty doctor at the Emergency Department of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and Hospital (NICDH) was quoted by the media as saying five were brought there but four of them, including factory’s Managing Director and the police official, were declared dead on arrival. Another succumbed to his injuries later.
The injured were rushed to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital.
TV reports say most of the workers left the factory at around 7pm and its Managing Director and some other officials were on the ninth floor of the building.
It is believed that Rahman and others felt sick after inhaling smoke while some fainted trying to escape.
A security guard of the factory Md Borhanuddin said the factory was closed when the fire broke out. An electrical overhauling was made at the storehouse of the factory after the closure. He suspected the fire might have originated there.
Media reports quoting a factory supervisor say some female employees were working on the first and second floors when the fire broke out, but they left the factory unhurt.