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Smart Group shuts hydrogen peroxide factory on public demand

Smart Group shuts hydrogen peroxide factory on public demand
Photo: Al-Razi Chemical Complex Ltd, UNB

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A hydrogen peroxide factory run by Smart Group, the owner of BM container depot where a weekend fire killed 41 people, has been shut down following protests by local residents and leaders.

The factory, located at South Pahratali of Hathazari upazila in Chattogram, is run by Al-Razi Chemical Complex Ltd, a sister concern of Smart Group, now under public scrutiny after the massive blaze.

The fire that erupted on Saturday night is being blamed on the hydrogen peroxide-carrying containers kept at the depot amid allegations of lax security measures.

Mobin Hossain Khan, Manager Admin of Al-Razi Chemical Complex Ltd on Tuesday said complying with the demands of local people and leaders the factory will refrain from releasing any consignment until the government completes probe into the fire and explosions.

Locals living near the factory demanded its closure fearing a disaster even bigger than the depot fire, Monjurl Alam Chowdhury, former member of district Awami League committee told UNB.

Chowdhury along with Jafar Alam a former commissioner of South Pahartali ward-1 and some locals met the manager admin, and Ibrahim Khalil, General manager of the Al-Razi Complex on Monday afternoon to voice their fear.

“We have requested the authority to suspend production and delivery of hydrogen peroxide from the factory until investigation into the depot fire completes. We will not have any objection if it is produced here following proper safety protocols and government guidelines,” said Chowdhury.

Hydrogen peroxide from this factory was kept at the BM Container Depot which was suspected to be turned into a death trap when the fire started on Saturday night which also left some 200 people injured.

Apart from hydrogen peroxide, PVC pipe, PVC door and other materials are produced in the Al-Razi Chemical Complex built across 3 acres of land at the foot of hills at Thandachhari area in 2019.