Remaining bodies will be released on Saturday
The charred bodies of 24 people, out of the 48 who burnt to death in the July 8 fire at Hashem Foods Ltd factory in Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj, were handed over to their families on Wednesday.
The authorities released the bodies after the forensic unit of the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) identified 45 bodies through DNA analysis.
“The rest of the bodies  will be handed over on Saturday. The three bodies that have yet to be identified will be released after further testing,” said Additional DIG Emam Hossain of the CID.
CID Special Superintendent of Police (Forensic) Romana Akhter said it was taking longer to identify the three victims as forensic officials had to extract their DNA samples from their tissues, teeth and bones because their bodies had been totally burnt in the fire.
“We are hopeful of identifying them soon,” she added.
Meanwhile, Narayanganj district Additional Deputy Commissioner SM Mahfuzur Rahman said: “We have given Tk25,000 to the families of each victim for holding the funerals of those who have died. They will be provided with more financial aid later.”
Charred remains and Tk2 lakh
The 24 victims are Md Ayat Hossain, Md Naim Islam, Nusrat Jahan Tuktuki, Hima Akter, Sagorika Sayela, Khadeza Akter, Mohammad Ali, Takiya Akter, Shahana Akter, Mitu Akter, Jahanara, Farzana, Fatema Akter, Nazma Khatun, Ishrat Jahan Tuli, Nazma Begum, Mohammad Rashed, Rakib Hossain, Firoza Begum, Tarek Zia, Ripon Miah, Shahana Akter, Mohammad Munna and Ria Akter.
The relatives of the victims broke down in tears near the morgue of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after witnessing the charred remains of their loved ones 26 days after the fire.
Lili Begum, who went to DMCH to receive the body of her youngest son, Ripon Mia, 18, said she had refused to accept the Tk2 lakh offered by the factory as compensation for her son’s life.
Another wailing relative, Sumi Akter, said that her sister-in-law, Nazma Begum, who left behind two small children, could have survived the blaze had the factory owners not forced everyone to work despite noticing the fire.
“The building was burning but the manager forced everyone to get back to work. The owners did this deliberately and now they are offering Tk2 lakh for my sister-in-law’s life,” she said.
“Is Tk2 lakh enough to compensate for a life lost?” Sumi questioned.