Army joins Tongi factory fire rescue operation

boiler blast at Tongi factory
Aluminium foil paper rolls seen damaged due to the fire at a Tongi factory today. Photo: Business Mail

Death toll of Tongi factory fire hits 33 as four more bodies recovered today and missing list enlarged to 12; deceased worker’s family filed case against factory owner and seven others.

Bangladesh Army today joined the rescue operation in the devastation of Tongi factory fire incident in Gazipur as they recovered four more bodies from under the debris, making the death toll to 33.

Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur SM Alam confirmed journalists about the increased death toll.

The deceased could not be identified yet. Bodies recovered under the debris have mutilated way beyond recognition and would be handed over to families after DNA tests, police said. The bodies already sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) morgue. DNA tests would be performed there.

A team of the army, led by Lt Col Shafiul Alam, joined 22 units of Fire Service and Civil Defence at around 6:30am to conduct the operation together, Lt Colonel Mohammad Rashidul Hasan, director of Inter Services Public Relation Directorate, told journalists on the spot.

The rescue operation will continue on a small scale on the day of Eid-ul-Azha Tomorrow. After the Eid, it would be intensified.

The army men think it would take around two months to remove the debris of the four-story building of Tampaco Foils Limited that collapsed due to an explosion and inferno on Saturday.

They estimated the debris to be more than those of Rana Plaza, which collapsed in 2013 killing more than 1,100 people.

The Army team would, however, have to face challenges in removing the chemical drums as they had no experience in this regard, said an officer. Lt Col Rashidul said there was a stock of 25 tonnes of chemicals at the factory before the incident.

Meanwhile, deceased factory worker Jewel’s father Abdul Kader filed a case last night against factory owner Mokbul Hossain as prime accused and seven others with Tongi Police Station, police said. Mokbul is perceived to have gone hiding following the incident.

The seven other accused are Mokbul’s wife Parvin, company Managing Director Tanvir Ahmed, General Manager Shafiqur Rahman, Manager (Administration) Monir Hossain, Manager (General) Samir Ahmed, Manager Hanif and DMD Alamgir Hossain.

The control room of Gazipur district administration today published a list of 12 missing people instead of the yesterday’s list of 11 based on claims by family members.

The missing ones are: Kazim Uddin, Jahirul Islam, Rajesh Babu, Riyad Hossain Murad, Ismail Hossain, Anisur Rahman, Rafiqul Islam, Nasir Patoari, Masum Ahmed, Chunnu Molla, Redwan Ahmed and Joynul Islam.

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