The BGMEA investigation has found the devastating fire incident at Tazreen Fashions Ltd as 'planned' and held 'some planted people' responsible for it.
"There were many signs that indicated the Tazreen fire was a planned incident. There was insufficient administrative system too," President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Shafiul Islam said Monday.
The BGMEA president was speaking at a press conference in the city on the investigation report released by the apparel trade body team on the devastating Tazreen fire incident at Ashulia on November 24. The incident claimed at least 112 lives of workers and injured several others.
BGMEA vice president Md Siddiqur Rahman and SM Mannan Kochi, among others, were present at the news conference.
BGMEA on November 25 formed an 11-member probe team that prepared the report after visiting the spot several times, talking to eye-witnesses of the incident and the authorities of the factory, Islam said.
The activities of loader, guard, boiler operator on the first floor and some mid-level management executives of the factory, who prevented the workers to go out, were suspicious, he said adding: "There were some planted people in the factory, who might have ill-motives behind the fire incident."
The BGMEA chief called for more investigation and interrogation of the suspects bringing the facts under a legal framework.
"There was no evidence of outside influence before the fire and also the team did not find any proof of explosion from generator or boiler," the report said.
The fire originated from the ground floor where clothes including yarn, synthetic fabric, acrylic and other petro-chemical were stocked in an unplanned way, the report said adding that there was no electric connection or other electrical equipment on the ground floor.
A total of 984 out of 1,137 workers of Tazreen were doing overtime on different floors of the factory during the fire incident, the report found.
"If there had been no go-down on the ground floor or if it could have been separated by a wall or the staircase end outside the factory, the death toll could be minimised," the report said.
It also said the death toll would have been less if the workers could get out of the factory as fire alarm was ringing. But the factory officials on the third, fourth and fifth floors prevented them from going out saying there was no fire.
The report recommended for further interrogation of four cutting loaders, security in-charge, guard, boiler operator and loader chief by the criminal investigation team and other officials, who prevented workers from going out in a bid to find out the real culprits.
"We are not here to hold anybody responsible but to present the facts," the BGMEA president said demanding punitive action against whoever is responsible for tragic fire incident.