Monday 5, June 2023

HC urges committee to fix damage for Sitakunda depot fire victims

News Desk: The High Court on Wednesday asked the government to form an expert committee to find out the cause of fire at BM container depot and to fix liabilities of the authorities.

At least 52 people, including 10 firefighters, were killed and 250 injured in the fire and massive explosion at the private inland container depot at Sitakunda on the outskirts of port city Chattogram on June 4.

The court asked the energy and mineral resources secretary to form the committee, headed by a chemical engineering professor at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and submit a probe report to the court in three months.

The bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the order after hearing a writ petition jointly filed by Law and Life Foundation and Children Charity Bangladesh Foundation on June 29.

The bench asked the energy and mineral resources secretary and 19 other respondents to explain in four weeks why they would not be directed to pay Tk 2 crore to the families of the deceased and Tk 50,000 to each of the injured.

Other respondents, including the home secretary, the disaster management and the commerce secretary, the Department of Fire Service and Civil Defence director general, the Chattogram deputy commissioner, BM container depot owner Smart Group chair, and the depot’s managing director, were asked to reply to the rule in four weeks.

Petitioners’ lawyer Humaun Kabir Pallob argued that nearby people, including workers, police personnel and firefighters, were killed in the fire and explosion at BM Container Depot due to sheer negligence of the depot authorities and other government authorities.

Tk 17.50 lakh were paid to families of each deceased firefighters, Tk 12.50 lakh were paid to families of other each deceased persons while Tk 5.75 lakh were paid to each injured persons, according to a report submitted by deputy attorney general Arobinda Kumar Roy on behalf of the Chattogram deputy commissioner.

The report said that the depot authorities paid families of each deceased fire fighters Tk 15 lakh, each family of other deceased Tk 10 lakh, and each injured Tk 5 lakh.

The department of labour paid the families of each deceased firefighter and each injured worker was paid Tk 2 lakh.

The deputy commissioner of Chattogram paid Tk 50,000 each of the families of the deceased Tk 50,000 and each injured Tk 25,000, said the report.


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