DHAKA: Bahrain is still reeling from the death of 10 Bangladeshis in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa ordered an urgent investigation into the tragedy and directed the ministries of interior, labour and municipalities and urban planning affairs to look into its causes and ensure there is no repetition.
Prince Khalifa, who was chairing the weekly cabinet meeting, offered his condolences to the bereaved families and instructed the competent authorities to follow up repatriation of the blaze tragedy victims` bodies.
Bahrainis said investigations and strong action by all sides, including the workers, should help ensure a safer living environment for vulnerable people.
However, while many blamed the greed of those who mercilessly crammed expatriates in small rooms that lacked basic hygiene and safety standards, others said that destitute workers were also putting their lives at risk by accepting in cheap and dangerous accommodation to save money.
In 2006, 16 Indians died in a blaze tragedy in a labour accommodation in the capital, Manama. The shock prompted officials to intensify action to carry routine checks of the accommodations used by unskilled labourers.
However, labour officials said after the East Riffa blaze that they were not aware that the property, two windowless rooms within a residential property designed for a maximum of five people, was used as labour accommodation.
An Asian man reportedly rented out the building to the victims who were illegal residents with no fixed job and who were doing odd jobs, including cleaning cars.
Police Chief Major General Tariq Al Hassan who visited the premises said that the Bangladeshis lived "in a cage with no windows or ventilation."
A total of 10 Bangladeshi workers, including three of a family, were died of suffocation from smoke as a fire broke out at their residence in Bahrain on Sunday morning.
Of the deceased eight were identified as M Hanif, 60, his brother-in-law M Suleman, 42, son-in-law Monir Hossain, 30, Nurul Islam, 45, Anwar Hossain, 40, Abu Taher, 38, Abul Hasem, 35 of Comilla district and Syed Ahmed of Chandpur district.
First secretary of Bangladesh High Commission in Bahrain Mohammad Ibrahim confirmed the names to banglanews.
The fire originated from an electric short circuit, sources said.
BDST: 1911 HRS, MAY 28, 2012
Edited by: Maria Salam, asst Output Editor / M. Mahbub Alam, Asst Output Editor
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