Bangladeshi factory owner sued after fire kills more than 30

The owner of a Bangladeshi packaging plant where more than 30 people were killed in a devastating fire is being sued by relatives of the victims, police said on Monday.

Abdul Kader, the father of a worker who died in the fire, has filed the case accusing eight people, among them Syed Mokbul Hussain, chairman of Tampaco Foils Ltd, of culpable homicide, officer Feroz Talukder told reporters.

Hussain, also a former lawmaker in Bangladesh's national parliament, could not immediately be contacted for comment.

The four-storey factory building, 20 kilometres north of the capital Dhaka, collapsed hours after the fire broke out early Saturday.

Rescuers on early Monday pulled out four more bodies from the rubble bringing the death toll to 33, firefighting official Mohammad Akhteruzzamn said.

He said the fire, which broke out after an explosion, had been completely extinguished and that members of the army had joined the rescue operation.

Television footage showed the rescuers using heavy cranes and other equipment to pull away the rubble and slabs of material from the building.

It remained unclear what had caused the explosion, initially blamed on a faulty boiler, with investigators now also looking into the possibility of a gas leak.

“The matter is still under investigation,” said Colonel Rashedul Hasan of Bangladesh Army as troopers joined the rescue efforts.

The army officer could not give any specific timeline for the operation saying, “We will work as long as we need to complete the mission.”

More than 50 people injured in the fire were still being treated in hospital on Monday while the district administration listed 11 factory workers as still missing.

The Tampaco Foils factory produces packaging for tobacco and other consumer products, with British American Tobacco and food giant Nestle among its clients.

Nestle said Sunday it was "shocked and saddened" by the deaths and injuries.

Fatalities in Bangladeshi factories - which mostly produce clothing, packaging and textiles - are common due to a lax implementation of regulations.

A fire at Tazreen Fashion factory in late 2012 killed at least 112 workers.

More than 1,100 people were killed and 2,500 injured after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building which housed five garment factories in 2013.

Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 17:36
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