Seven other people were also detained because of a fire in a food processing plant suspected of violating safety regulations.

The Bangladeshi police arrested the owner of a factory for murder. At least 52 people died in a fire in the factory because 11-year-old children had been working there.

The owner’s four sons were also one of eight people who were detained as a whole on Saturday for an outbreak of hell that raged for more than a day on Thursday. A separate investigation has been conducted on the use of child labor in this facility.

The emergency services told Al Jazeera that they had recovered 49 bodies at the Hashim Food and Beverage Factory in Rupuganj, an industrial town 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of the capital Dhaka. The three also died after jumping out of the building.

The scorched victims were piled in the ambulance convoy, and people watching on the street were taken to the morgue amid the painful shouts and tears of their eyes.

Police Chief Jayedul Alam of Narayanganj District, where the factory is located, said that the entrance was padlocked when the fire broke out and the factory violated a number of fire and safety regulations.

“This was a deliberate murder,” the police chief told AFP.

The fire department spokesperson also said that the exit door to the main staircase was locked. The building also stores highly flammable chemicals and plastics.

Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chowdhury reported outside the factory in Rupganj that the authorities had acted quickly, noting that it usually takes “days or weeks” to arrest them.

“The Rupganj police have filed a murder case against them,” Chowdhury said, referring to those detained.

The authorities stated that the rescue operation has ended. However, Chowdhury said that according to their relatives, some employees are still missing.

Relatives of some unidentified victims mourned at the scene of a fire in a factory in Rupganj on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

At the same time, National Labor Minister Monnujan Sufian stated that investigations into the use of child labor in factories have already begun.

Su Feian told AFP that she had talked with two 14-year-old survivors in a hospital. A woman said that her 11-year-old nephew had been working in the factory but was missing.

Nazma Akt, founder and executive director of the Awaji Workers’ Rights Foundation, told Al Jazeera that safety negligence at factories in Bangladesh is commonplace-children in particular lack protection.

“Many children were also killed in the fire, which is very sad and disappointing,” Akter said.

“We have [a] The law, if there are young workers or child labor, [it should be] Five hours of work, three hours of education, but… they work as adult workers — 7 days a week, 10 to 12 hours,” she added.

“No one cares about the lives and safety of workers.”

After the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, Bangladesh pledged to reform when a nine-story building collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.

But since then, a series of fires and other disasters have occurred. In February 2019, a fire swept through Dhaka apartments where chemicals were illegally stored and at least 70 people died.


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