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Tk50cr losses as Sheema Oxygen Plant did not implement fire safety

Md Saidur Rahman . Chattrogram
06 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 06 Mar 2023 00:10:45
Tk50cr losses as Sheema Oxygen Plant did not implement fire safety
A blaze breaks out at the oxygen plant of Sheema Automatic Re-Rolling Mills following an explosion in the Kadam Rasul area of Chattogram’s Sitakunda upazila on Saturday, killing six people and injuring dozens. Residents within a radius of up to two kilometres from the plant felt the aftershock – Collected Photos

Fire service department could not ensure whether there was enough fire safety system or not in Sheema Oxygen Plant at Shitakunda in Chattragram.

During a spot visit on Sunday, Sub Assistant Director of Fire Service and Civil Defence Md Abdul Hamid Mia said, “The Company had fire license but they did not implement fire safety plant. They appealed for safety plan implementation but no inspection from fire service was carried out.”

“We noticed some fire extinguishers on the spot, but we are not sure about the adequate quantity. It doesn’t seem the company followed the guidelines of oxygen cylinder management,” he added.

Fire service resumed rescue operation on Sunday morning. At that time the Department of Explosives investigated the explosion management system of the plant.

Inspector of explosives department Tofazzal Hossain said, “We have collected samples from the spot and after analysing we will submit the report to the investigation committee formed by the district administration.”

Meanwhile, even after 24 hours of the massive blast, the reason is yet to be found out.

Claiming that the company had enough fire safety system, Manager of Sheema Oxygen Plant Abdul Alim said, “We have license from fire service, explosives department and environment department.”

He said, “This blast has incurred Tk 50 crore losses for the company established in 2018 investing Tk 10 crore. A total of 42 employees work here. During the blast 15 employees were working.”

“We are not yet sure about the reason of this explosion. We are providing all kinds of support to the victims through the help desk of district administration. Collaborating with the district administration, we will help the families of the deceased victims financially,” he added.

Meanwhile, the local upazila nirbahi officer said they are investigating into the matter.

On Sunday afternoon, bodies of six deceased were handed over to their respective families from Chattrogram Medical College Morgue after autopsy.

The deceased are Shamsul Alam (56), Md Farid (36), Ratan Lokhret (45), Abdul Quader (58), Salah Uddin (30) and selim Richil. Among the deceased, Shamsul Alam and Salah Uddin were not the factory employees and they were half kilometers away from the spot during the blast.

Tofazzel Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Sitakunda Police Station, said “A police team rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area right after the blast. A case will be filed and we are investigating to find out the reason behind the explosion.”

After the massive blast on Saturday afternoon, around 26 persons were severely injured. Among them six persons died. Two persons left hospital after primary treatment and other 18 persons are undergoing treatment at Chattrogram Medical College Hospital.

The government has announced Tk 25,000 for the burial of the deceased while Tk 2 lakh to the family members of each deceased.