Family members on Saturday claimed 40 out of the 48 unidentified bodies burnt to the bone at the Rupganj factory fire, said CID DNA Assistant Analyst Nusrat Yasmin.
DNA samples were collected from 56 people on behalf of the claimants' families, she added.
“We have already taken samples from 48 unidentified bodies at the DMCH morgue. Forty of those bodies were claimed by family members today.”
“We have collected 56 samples from the claimants, we will deliver the bodies to the family as soon as we get a match,” she added.
DNA collected from the burnt bodies is being matched with DNA collected from articles of clothing or other items submitted by claimant families.
Locked inside a facility with no fire exit, 52 lives were burnt to ashes caused by the Rupganj factory fire in Narayanganj.
It took around 27 hours for 18 firefighting units to douse the fire completely as at some floors had huge inflammable substances stockpiled.
Firefighters recovered 49 bodies from the 4th floor of the building and sent those to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital’s morgue, taking the death toll to 52 from the tragic incident. Only one of the 49 bodies could be identified, as the rest were completely burnt.
Earlier, three deaths from the accident were confirmed by the authorities of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital and US Bangla Medical College and Hospital, Rupganj on Thursday.
As more details emerged of the catastrophe, it became clear that the workers were left with no chance in the face of the raging inferno, that has been further fuelled by combustible items such as ghee, butter, oil and polybags stored on each floor.
Even so, the workers may have had a chance at escape, if only the building code had been maintained to provide an emergency exit, or the management had not implemented the medieval practice of locking the gates of the factory floors, that carried undertones of the horrific Tazreen Garments fire in 2012 that killed at least 112.
Deputy Director of the Fire Service Debashish Bardhan confirmed to UNB that rescue workers had to literally break down the locked collapsible gate on the building's 4th floor to go in and recover the bodies. That is where they found 49 of the bodies, burnt to a pulp overnight on the factory floor.
Most of the bodies were in a recognisable state. Narayanganj Additional Deputy Commissioner (Overall) Shamim Bepari said they would be handed over to their relatives after DNA testing to identify them. They have already been sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for autopsy and DNA test.
A Narayanganj court on Saturday placed the eight people, including the chairman of Sajeeb Group, his four sons and the group CEO, on a four-day remand each following their arrest in connection with the Rupganj factory fire case.
Narayanganj Senior Judicial Magistrate Fahmida Khanam passed the order in the afternoon after a hearing as police produced the arrestees before the court seeking a 10-day remand for them, inspector Asaduzzaman told the UNB correspondent from the court.
Earlier in the day, Narayanganj police arrested Md Abul Hashem, chairman of the group, his four sons -- Hashem Bin Hashem, Tareq Ibrahim, Tawsib Ibrahim and Tanjim Ibrahim-- and its CEO Shahan Sha Azad, DGM Mamunur Rashid and head of admin Salauddin in the connection with the tragic fire in the factory owned by the group that claimed the lives of 52 people so far.
Earlier, police filed a case with Rupganj police station against the eight people and many unknown others following the massive fire in the factory, said Superintendent of Police in the district Md Zaidul Alam.
Group CEO Shahan Sha Azad was arrested from the company’s head office in the capital’s Farmgate area, while Chairman Hashem from his Gulshan residence, SP Alam said.