03/07/2023, 12.03
Send to a friend

Chattogram, 7 die in factory explosion

by Sumon Corraya

Incident at an oxygen production plant, devastated an area within a kilometre radius. Just nine months ago, another fire at a warehouse not far away. Poor safety measures are blamed. Sr. Zita Rema: 'Factory owners should be concerned first and foremost for the lives of the workers.'

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Seven people died and 30 others were injured in an explosion that once again devastated a factory in Bangladesh. The incident occurred on Saturday, 4 March at an oxygen production plant in Sitakunda, Chattogram district, Bangladesh.

There were two Catholics among the dead, Salem Richel and Raton Nokrek; other plant workers, Ripon Banory and Paulinis Rema, are seriously injured; they all come from the Mymensingh diocese. All the injured are in the Chattogram Hospital, some in critical condition.

The explosion involved an area of about one square kilometre around the plant, causing pieces of metal to scatter, which also affected buildings in the vicinity. Three factories caught fire in the area of the plant. One injured person said about 40 workers were working at the site at the time of the explosion.

Nine fire brigade units from Agrabad, Kumira and Sitakunda had to be deployed, and they doused the flames within two hours; the police and army were also involved. The causes of the explosion are still uncertain, but Chittagong district investigators speak of negligence with regard to the safety of the plant.

The mayor of the city, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, also said that accidents happen repeatedly due to neglect on the part of company owners: another incident had occurred only nine months ago with a fire in a container depot that caused around 50 deaths; another tragedy occurred just half a kilometre away from the Sitakunda site where the new explosion took place.

The mayor explains that such accidents cannot be prevented if the working environment is not made safe. The Ministry of Labour and Employment will pay 25 thousand taka (about 220 euro) for the burial of the deceased and 200 thousand taka (about 1800 euro) will be given to the families.

Each injured person will get 50 thousand taka (about 440 euro) compensation. The Chittagong District Commissioner said that drugs and medicines have also been purchased to treat the injured.

Sr. Zita Rema, an ethnic Garo religious of the Salesian Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate, in the diocese of Chattogram carries out her ministry among workers, many of whom are internal migrants. She has visited the injured in hospitals and tells AsiaNews: "Every year this kind of accident happens. The safety of the lives of our workers is not guaranteed; factory owners should worry about this first of all."

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
For Fr Tom, abducted in Yemen, Holy Thursday prayer and adoration for the martyrs
21/03/2016 14:57
National Commission for Women asks for 'immediate action' in the nun rape case in Kerala
07/02/2019 17:28
Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang rise as Cold War fears cast a shadow over Korea
12/02/2016 15:14
White House to stop Beijing's "imperialist" policy in the South China Sea
24/01/2017 15:55


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”