Keraniganj fire: Death toll climbs to 13

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Twelve more victims of the Keraniganj plastic factory fire succumbed to their injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Thursday, taking the death toll from the devastating fire incident to 13, reports UNB.

Inspector Bachchu Mia, in-charge of the DMCH police outpost, said they died at the burn unit of the hospital at different times from early hours to afternoon.

The twelve deceased were identified as Imran, 18, Babul, 32, Alam Hossain, Raihan, 16, Ziarul Islam, Khaleque, Salauddin, 32, Sujan, Jahangir, 55, Mehedi, 20, Abdur Razzak and Faisal, 26.

The bodies have been kept at the hospital morgue for autopsy.

The deadly fire, sparked by a gas cylinder explosion at Prime Plastic factory at Hijaltola, killed a worker on the spot and injured 34 others. Firefighters recovered the charred body of Jakir Hossain, 25, from the factory.

The injured were taken to the DMCH burn unit when 12 of them died.

Currently, 21 workers are undergoing treatment at the hospital. Of them, eight were kept on life support as their condition was critical, said Ariful Islam Nobin of the burn unit.

Meanwhile, the labour and employment ministry announced to provide Tk 100,000 to families of the deceased each while Tk 50,000 for the injured each.

Besides, it formed a five-member committee to investigate the fire incident.

The committee, headed by additional secretary to labour and employment ministry Jalal Uddin, will dig out the reason behind the incident.

The probe body was also asked to identify the risk factors in plastic factories of Keraniganj and recommend remedies for those.

Locals said there were two more fire incidents at the factory - first in 2016 and then in February last. There was a single entry gate at the factory and the fire broke out at the gate which led to the increased casualty.

Workers sustained burn injuries while storming out through the gate, they said.

They demanded that action be taken against factory owner Nazrul Islam for negligence.

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