Bangladesh: Fire at a food & cigarette packaging factory leaves 31 dead, 50 injured

Fire at Tampaco Foils Limited, a factory north of Dhaka has killed at least 31 people and injured more than 50 with fears that the death toll could rise. The cause of the fire at the food and cigarette packaging factory was not immediately known, but officials said a boiler explosion probably triggered the blaze. A manager at Tampaco Foils said his only focus is on his workers who were injured and on those who died. Syed Mokbul Hossain, chair of Tampaco said "my company is fully compliant and I've never sacrificed on quality, as my clients are mainly multinational companies." Tampaco's website says its clients include several local companies and global brands including British American Tobacco and Nestle.

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Article
26 September 2016

Death toll in Bangladesh factory fire rises to 39

Author: Indo Asian News Service

The death toll in a factory fire has risen to 39 as rescuers on Monday pulled three more bodies out of the rubble of a packaging factory that partially collapsed due to a water boiler explosion earlier this month....The three bodies recovered on Monday were charred beyond recognition, the Dhaka Tribune quoted a senior police official as saying....The reason behind the fire remains unclear as government officials claimed that the water boiler had not exploded and the fire originated from a gas leak...The government had announced Taka 2 lakh as compensation to the deceased persons' families and Taka 1 lakh to those injured.

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Article
17 September 2016

Bangladesh: Forty-one industrial sectors exposed to fire hazards

Author: Rahman Jahangir, Financial Express [Bangladesh]

With Bangladesh taking charge of fire safety standards in readymade garment (RMG) factories due to mounting pressure of North American and European retailers, thousands of registered industrial units in 41 industrial sectors scattered across the country are virtually going without such compliance. These factories producing a wide variety of consumer and industrial goods and employing millions are without any inspection by the government agencies in the absence of stringent monitoring as enforced in case of the RMG factories.

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Article
17 September 2016

Death toll rises in Bangladesh factory fire

Author: World Socialist Web Site

The number of workers killed had risen to 34 by yesterday. With around 50 people injured and six still missing, the death toll may further increase...The factory made food and cigarette packaging for local and global brands, including British American Tobacco, Nestlé and Nabisco Biscuit & Bread, a unit of food giant Mondelez International...Nestlé said it was “shocked and saddened” by the deaths and the injuries, and its thoughts were with those affected. But such conglomerates make use of such factories, precisely because of the low costs, which necessarily entails, shoddy construction and appalling working conditions, as well as poor wages...It was likewise with Bangladesh agro-processed food products chain Pran, which conceded that it is a customer of Tampaco, which supplied it with flexible packaging material for snacks and confectioneries. A spokesman said: “After this fire we will meet our other suppliers and review their safety measures.

 

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Company response
15 September 2016

Nestlé's position

We are shocked and saddened by the news of deaths and injuries caused by an explosion and fire at the Tampaco Packaging Factory in Bangladesh, which supplies Nestlé with packaging products.  Our thoughts are with all those affected.  The factory supplies Nestlé in Bangladesh, along with a number of other companies. It does not supply any materials for Nestlé’s operations in other countries.  Prioritising the health and safety of workers, and ensuring that fire prevention and emergency procedures are in place, are non-negotiable requirements for Nestlé’s suppliers.  An audit of the Tampaco factory by our partner SGS took place in 2011, which found a number of deficiencies.  All of the findings relating to health and safety were rectified by the time of a follow up inspection in December 2012.  We await further details from the authorities and others in Bangladesh on what caused this incident.

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Article
12 September 2016

Bangladesh factory owner sued as death toll rises

Author: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

Authorities have not yet determined the exact cause of the explosion. Although they investigators initially suspected that the boiler was faulty, they later said they were looking into a possible gas leak...It has also emerged that highly flammable chemicals were stored in the factory that produces packaging materials for tobacco companies and Swiss food conglomerate Nestle. The accident occurred right as the night shift was handing over to the morning shift, resulting in an unusually high number of workers being present....German news agency DPA reported that the father of one of the deceased had filed suit against the factory's owner, Syed Mokbul Hussain, a former lawmaker, and eight others for culpable homicide.

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Article
12 September 2016

Bangladesh factory owner, others being probed as toll from fire rises

Author: Reuters [UK]

A police case has been filed against the owner of Tampaco Foils and several others working at the food and cigarette packaging plant near Dhaka as the death toll from a fire at the factory over the weekend rose to 31 on Monday...A police official said the case had been filed by the family of one of the victims. Officials expect more cases to be filed against the owner, whom police are still trying to locate, and others when courts re-open after the week-long Eid holiday.

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Article
12 September 2016

Thoroughly probe Bangladesh factory fire

Author: Daily Star [Bangladesh]

An alleged boiler explosion at a factory in Tongi BSCIC industrial area of Gazipur has led to the biggest industrial disaster in Bangladesh since the Rana Plaza incident...Many of the trapped workers were seen to be screaming for help, but the huge flames, prevented people outside from getting anywhere near the building. At least 20 fire fighting units tried to douse the flames, but given that there were chemical filled drums mostly kept on the ground floor of the factory, the task was not an easy one...All of this once again begs the question as to how serious the authorities really are in terms of ensuring worker safety at workplaces. Questions as to what safety measures were there at the factory must be asked. And if the necessary safety measures were, indeed, in place, why such high number of casualties? Factory fires are not new and the management is supposed to take decisive measures to prepare for such incidents.

 

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Article
11 September 2016

Bangladesh factory fire death toll rises to 31

Author: AlJazeera [Qatar]

The death toll from a boiler explosion and subsequent fire at a packaging factory in Bangladesh over the weekend has risen to 31 after more bodies were found in the debris...At least eight workers were still missing on Monday, Alam said, adding that the search for bodies would continue while authorities try to determine what caused the explosion.

 

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Article
10 September 2016

Bangladesh factory fire kills 23, injures dozens more

Author: Serajul Quadir, Reuters [UK]

A fire at a food and cigarette packaging factory in Bangladesh killed at least 23 people and injured dozens on Saturday, in the country's worst industrial accident since the Rana Plaza building collapse of 2013 in which over 1,100 people died...The cause was not immediately known, but officials said a boiler explosion probably triggered the blaze...my only focus is on my workers who were injured and on those who died. We will take care of them...said Syed Mokbul Hossain, chair of Tampaco and a former member of parliament...My company is fully compliant and I've never sacrificed on quality, as my clients are mainly multinational companies."

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