Edible oil used as raw material to make a chocolate and hazelnut spread fuelled the fire at Hashem Foods Ltd factory that kept burning for around 24 hours, believe firefighters.
At least 25 bodies out of the 53 dead were found at a corner on the third floor of the six-storey building in Narayanganj’s Rupganj, the crews said.
The spread, Nocilla, was produced on that floor and its ingredients included some edible oil, said Assistant Director Monir Hossain and Inspector Fakhar Uddin of the Fire Service and Civil Defence.
The factory used pipelines to supply the oil to parts of the floor. Many firefighters slipped as the oil came out of the burst pipes, reports bdnews24.com.
“That edible oil kept the fire raging for so long. There were also a huge amount of plastics and paper cartons,” said Monir.
Hashem Foods, a Sajeeb Group spin-off, used the factory to produce Shezan Juice, Nocilla, beverage and other food items, such as vermicelli, Chanachur and biscuit.
The top floors were still burning on Friday afternoon after the fire erupted on Thursday afternoon.
Moumita, a teenaged worker of the factory who gave a single name, said the fourth and fifth floors were used to fry Chanachur and vermicelli.
Huge amount of oil was used for the frying that kept the floors always hot.
Fire Service Inspector Fakhar Uddin said unrecognisable bodies were lying along with the burnt materials.
“We struggled to get inside the floor due to the heat and smoke from the oil.”
Firefighters said they also saw sticky substances in the factory.