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Worker 'burnt to death' at paper mill in Bangladesh

BANGLADESH (From news reports) -- A paper mill worker died after "suffering burn injuries" at a paper mill in Kalurghat BSCIC industrial area of the port city early Feb. 16, police said.

However, the death remains shrouded in mystery as the police and fire service officials could not shed light on how the worker caught fire.

The deceased, Md Arman, 17, was a machine operator at the Asia Pacific Paper Mills and a resident of Mohora area in the city.

Quoting the victim's co-workers, Sohel Rana, additional commissioner of Chattogram Metropolitan Police, said Arman was sleeping beside a furnace inside the factory where wastages of the paper mill were being destroyed.

"The co-workers recovered the burnt body around 4:00am," he added.

Contacted, Jasim Uddin, assistant deputy director of Fire Service and Civil Defence in Chattogram, said on information, officials of fire service rushed to the spot and found an unauthorised furnace inside the mill.

"A factory needs to obtain permission from the fire service authorities before installing a furnace, but the factory in question didn't have any such permission," he said, adding that the factory didn't even have any firefighting equipment.

"The authorities of the mill were not cooperating by providing us with proper information as to how the worker was burnt and why he went near the furnace."

"It seems to be mysterious," he said.

Arman joined the mill about four months ago, the fire service official said, quoting the victim's mother.

Bijoy Basak, deputy commissioner of CMP (North), said he was informed about the incident.

"We will take action after a case is filed in this connection," he added.

Abul Bashar, officer-in-charge of Chandgaon Police Station, said the body was handed over to the victim's family as they refused to give consent for an autopsy.

This correspondent could not contact with the manager or any member of the board of directors of the mill for their comments.

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