Death toll in Mongla factory building collapse has climbed to six after rescuers found two more bodies.
Many others are feared trapped under the debris of the under construction milling house of army-run Mongla Cement Factory in Bagerhat.
The roof of the building crumbled in a heap at around 1pm on Thursday.
The government has launched an investigation.
Fire Service’s Bagerhat Station in-charge Jainal Abedin said from the scene that they found six bodies until midnight.
Deputy Director Mizanur Rahman said they feared over 50 construction workers were trapped ‘alive or dead’ under the debris while more than 50 others were injured.
Bagerhat Deputy Commissioner Jahangir Alam said over 100 workers started to build the roof of the milling house, which was as high as a four-storey building, in the morning.
“The roof collapsed sometime between 1pm and 1:30pm. Many workers were trapped under centring pipes, rods and casting materials,” he added.
He also said the fifth body was found in the evening.
The rescue operation ran into the night under additional lights.
Mongla Cement Factory, established by the Sena Kalyan Sangstha (armed forces welfare association) beside the river Pashur in 1994, makes Elephant Brand cement.
The last body was found around 11pm, Khulna Divisional Commissioner Abdus Samad said. The man could not be identified.
He also said a nine-strong committee was formed to investigate the incident.
Additional Divisional Commissioner Faruq Hossain will head the committee and submit finds in seven working days.
The committee members include two members of police from Khulna Range including a deputy inspector general and Public Works Department’s chief overseer of Khulna Division and executive engineer.
A representative of Sena Kalyan Sangstha, Khulna Fire Service’s deputy director, Khulna Local Government Division’s deputy director and a representative of Coast Guard are also on the committee.
Earlier, Mongla police’s Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Uttam Chatterjee said around a hundred workers were wounded in the accident.
Navy, Coastguards and fire service launched rescue operation immediately after the accident.
The bodies of four workers were sent to the Mongla Port Hospital.
Doctor Prakash Chandra Mandal identified three of them as Maharuf Hawlader, Amir Akandi and Al Amin.
He said four of the bodies were kept in his hospital.
The number of injured workers admitted to the hospital was nine, he said.
The Khulna Medical College and Hospital’s doctor Mashhurul Haque said 24 injured workers were brought to his hospital.
Of them, one ‘Shihab’, 40, was sent to Dhaka in a critical condition, he added.
Another injured worker, Golam Mostafa, said 50-60 workers were working on the roof of the third floor of the building and some others on the ground floor when the roof caved in.
Site engineer Rafiqul Islam said he was supervising the construction on behalf of contractor ITCL.
He said the area of the milling house that collapsed was around 4,062 square feet. It was 42 feet tall.
The milling house was being built to smash clinkers for making cement.
Asked about the reason of the collapse and workers present during the accident, he hung up saying he was sick.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has mourned the deaths in the collapse.
A statement sent from her media wing said she sympathised with the families and prayed for the dead.
She also ordered proper treatment for the injured, the statement said.
Statement of the armed forces
The military’s press wing said China-based CNBM International Engineering Limited was directly supervising the work to extend the cement factory.
It was set to hand over the project to the Sena Kalyan Sangstha in November, the Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) said in a statement.
The casting part of the building collapsed after its scaffolding lost balance during work on the ground floor and the rescue operation started immediately, it said.
ISPR said 44 were rescued from the debris and six of them died.
Combined Military Hospitals in Dhaka and Khulna and Khulna Navy Hospital were ready for better treatment of those injured in the collapse, it said.
ISPR also said the rescue operation continued in the night.
Steps to compensate the deceased and injured workers will be taken, it said.
It also said Sena Kalyan Sangstha formed a high-level committee to investigate the incident.