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Friday May 24, 2024

Sepa official blames four deaths on factory owner’s negligence

By Aftab Ahmed
March 21, 2024
The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) logo seen in this image. — Facebook/Sindh Environmental Protection Agency - SEPA/File
The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) logo seen in this image. — Facebook/Sindh Environmental Protection Agency - SEPA/File 

Hyderabad: Following the death of four persons in a cylinder explosion in an ice factory in New Saeedabad in Matiari district, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency’s (Sepa) Matiari district incharge, Qutbuddin Daras, on Wednesday visited the site of the explosion along with a technical team.

Residents of the area informed the Sepa team that the ice factory where the explosion took place had been operating for many years and it was surrounded by shops and residential houses.

The agency was informed that such an incident had never taken place before. Locals said the factory was owned by a man, Haji Ahsanullah Imrani, who had leased it out to another man, Shabbir Ahmed Sheikh.

On Tuesday, the explosion in an ammonia gas cylinder at the ice factory resulted in the deaths of three workers and one passer-by. The Sepa Matiari incharge and his technical team officers, Noor Ahmad Nahyoon and Muhammad Adnan, collected the data in the light of the Environment Rules 2014.

The team also recommended issuing a notice of personal hearing to the factory owner before the Sepa director general as per the environment rules. According to Daras, the factory owner had showed negligence because the explosion took place due to him not taking precautionary measures during the maintenance work.

The Sepa officer said that action was also under way to shift factories away from residential areas. Meanwhile, the police could not register an FIR of the case despite the passage of 24 hours after the explosion that had caused four deaths.

Matiari Deputy Commissioner Lal Dino Mangi has written a letter to the Hyderabad commissioner to compensate the heirs of the four deceased persons. The Matiari deputy commissioner also directed New Saeedabad Assistant Commissioner Saud Khan Baloch to take legal action after completing a report on the incident and submit the findings to the legal heirs of the deceased within three days.