8 held in B’desh factory blaze, including owner

Two days after a massive blaze tore through a food processing factory belonging to Hashem Groups sister concern Sajeeb Group in an industrial town near Dhaka, killing at least 52 people, eight persons were arrested on Saturday based on a complaint lodged by the relatives of a deceased worker.

The arrested persons include Abul Hashem, Chairman and owner of Hashem group, and his son Sajib. They have been taken to a court in Narayanganj, Mohammad Zaidul Alam, the Police Super of Narayanganj, told IANS.

According to Habibur Rahman, DIG, Dhaka Range Police, the arrested persons have been identified as Md Abul Hashem, CMD of Sajeeb Group which owns the factory; his four sons Hasib Bin Hashem, Tarek Ibrahim, Tawsib Ibrahim and Tanjim Ibrahim; Shahan Shah Azad, COO, Sajeeb Group; Mamunur Rashid, Deputy General Manager of Hashem Foods Ltd; and Salahuddin, a civil engineer and administrative officer of the company.

The blaze broke out at the Shezan Juice Factory at Rupganj in Narayanganj district, an industrial town 25 km east of the capital, on Thursday afternoon and kept on burning till nearly 25 hours later, killing at least 52 as the workers trapped in the flames in the multi-storey building were forced to leap for their lives from the fourth floor.

Meanwhile, Asaduzzaman Khan, the Home Minister of Bangladesh, said on Saturday, “No one will be spared. Those responsible for the negligence of security and safety standards of the workers in the food processing factory of Hashem group won’t be spared.”

During his visit to the ill-fated factory building, Khan also said that the family members of the deceased and injured workers will get financial assistance from the government.

About 30 people were injured in the incident while more than a hundred had gone missing, the relatives of the workers had said on Friday, even as hundreds of distraught relatives and other workers waited anxiously outside the burning building.