BM container depot blast: 8 unidentified bodies still in mortuaries

Eight bodies, charred in the fire at BM Container Depot Limited in Chattogram’s Sitakunda, have been kept in different mortuaries for almost nine months without being identified.

Besides, there is no significant headway in the case filed by police against eight officials of BM depot over the officials’ sheer negligence that killed 51 people and injured 250 on June 4, 2022.

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Ashraf Siddique, sub-inspector of Sitakunda Model Police Station, filed the case on June 8, 2022. The name of BM depot’s owner was excluded from the case documents.

The Detective Branch of Chattogram district police is now investigating the case.

Asked, Md Asaduzzaman, additional superintendent of police (DB and Industrial zone) in Chattogram, said, “We will be able to tell you who is responsible for the incident once the investigation is over.”

DB Inspector Mostaq Ahmed Chowdhury, also the investigation officer of the case, said the bodies were kept in mortuaries as they were yet to be identified.

“We have tested the DNA samples with the missing people’s family members, but none of the samples matched.”

Asked, he said, police did not arrest any of the accused till the filing of this report. “Our investigation is still ongoing.”

The eight accused are Nurul Akter, deputy general manager (operations), Khaledur Rahman, manager (admin), Abbas Ullah, assistant admin officer, Md Nasir Uddin, senior executive (admin and complains), Md Abdul Aziz, assistant manager (inland container depot), Saidul Islam, in-charge (container freight station), Nazrul Islam, container freight station, and Nazmul Akter Khan, deputy general manager (sales and marketing).

Police filed the case under Sections 337/338/304(ka) and 427.

In the case statement, police said the deaths and casualties were due to the fire and explosion that happened because the accused stored hazardous chemicals in the depot without taking any necessary and precautionary steps. The negligence of the accused damaged their wealth and properties.

A probe committee, led by Chattogram Additional Commissioner Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, mentioned 20 recommendations to avoid recurrence of any such incident in its 19-page report with 300 pages attachment.

Following the report, Mohammed Delwar Hossain, deputy secretary of Cabinet Division, on July 25 last year, issued letters to eight departments including the commerce ministry, energy and minerals ministry, defence ministry, shipping ministry, and ministry of industries.

The probe committee also proposed to fulfil the DCIO (DG Cargo Inspection Office) with trained manpower and asked to field inspection of the cargo before issuing NOC.

Apart from that, appointment of trained manpower by exporter during goods packing and transporting. Include off-docks to Chittagong Port and hold a regular meeting of the monitoring committee. Provide training to the firefighters to follow the IMDG code.

Customs later served a notice to the managing director of BM Depot Container Limited on September 15 asking why its private bonded warehouse license should not be cancelled following the deadly blast.


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