The much-needed investigation into the deadly fire and explosion at the BM container depot in Sitakunda was scheduled in three to seven days by seven committees. But three weeks have already elapsed since the blast, but no committee has submitted any investigation report as of now. These probe committees were formed the day after the explosion.
Earlier on June 4, a fire broke out at the BM container depot in the Bhatiari area of Sitakunda on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, followed by an explosion. At that time, due to the chemicals in the container, the severity of the fire increased due to repeated explosions. At least 47 people were killed in the incident, including 10 firefighters.
The first investigation committee was formed on June 5 by the Chattogram divisional administration. The committee convened by Additional Divisional Commissioner Mohammad Mizanur Rahman was asked to submit its report within five days. 9 people from all concerned organisations were made members of the committee.
Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, Additional Divisional Commissioner, who is also the head of the committee, said, “It took more than five days to complete the term of our committee. As such, we were supposed to submit our report on Sunday. But the report could not be submitted as some lab test reports were not received. I asked for time again in the second phase. Hopefully, I will be able to submit the report by next week.’
A separate committee was also formed by the district administration to investigate the fire and explosion. The committee was headed by Badiul Alam, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Local Government), Chittagong. The nine-member committee was asked to submit its report within seven days but failed to do so.
Committee member Additional Superintendent of Police Ashraful Karim of Sitakunda Circle said, “Our work is going on, it is not over yet. There is some work left. The report will be submitted next week.
Although there is a representative of the Department of Factory and Establishment Inspection in the committee of district administration and divisional administration, they also formed a separate committee to investigate the incident. A three-member committee headed by Assistant Inspector General of Police Shipon Chowdhury has been asked to submit a report within three days. But they also failed to complete the investigation on time.
Shipon Chowdhury, Assistant Inspector General of the Department, said, ‘We have a team working in Dhaka. We are here too. The report will be submitted in coordination with them.
An investigation committee was also formed by the fire service to investigate the whole incident. The five-member committee, headed by the director of fire services (operations), was asked to submit a report within three days. The committee has not yet submitted its report, said Anisur Rahman, a member of the committee and deputy director of the Fire Service Chittagong.
BM Depot authorities also formed an investigation committee on June 5 to investigate the June 4 blast. The committee was headed by Habibul Kabir Chowdhury, an advisor to the organization and former additional secretary. However, the committee has not yet submitted its report, said Smart Group General Manager (GM) Major (retd) Shamsul Haider Siddiqui.
On the same day, the Chittagong Port Authority also formed a committee to investigate the incident. The three-member committee was given three days to investigate the incident. The committee was headed by Terminal Officer Khudrat E Khodake. It is learned that this committee has not submitted its report yet.
Chittagong Custom House formed a separate committee to investigate the same incident. Additional Commissioner. The five-member committee, headed by Shafi Uddin, was given seven days to submit its report. But this committee has also followed the path of other committees in submitting reports. A member of the committee said that even after the deadline, they have not been able to submit the report yet.
Is the life of the poor not worth it!
Although seven separate investigation committees were formed the day after the incident, no report was submitted even three weeks after the incident. In this regard, Aware Citizens Committee (SNAC) – TIB, Chattogram Metropolitan President Advocate Akhter Kabir Chowdhury said, “Not giving the report of the investigation committee is a casual matter in our country.” In 90 percent of the cases, it is necessary to form an investigation committee after an incident. These are done to make the people understand, reports are no longer given. Even if some reports are given, it does not see the light of day.”
He also said, the victims of the BM Depot blast are marginalized people. Their life is cheap in this country. Despite so many casualties, no investigation report is being submitted, mourning should be held in their name. If you continue in this way, others will also think that even by doing such work, you can get through. Others will not be alert to this incident.”