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Parliamentary Question Accuses Government of Causing Ghazl Al Mahala Blaze
Parliamentary Question Accuses Government of Causing Ghazl Al Mahala Blaze
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood Parliamentary bloc Saad Al Husseiny tabled an urgent question to Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif requesting a clear interpretation
Wednesday, October 8,2008 13:21

A member of the Muslim Brotherhood Parliamentary bloc Saad Al Husseiny tabled an urgent question to Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif requesting a clear interpretation for the chain of fires in Egypt. The question included Ghazl Al Mahala Company blaze, just after days of the National theater blaze and after weeks of the Senate blaze.


Al Husseiny wondered if the real losses of the blaze are exceeding five million pounds as stated by Al Gharbia Governorate or not more than 50 thousand pounds as the government alleged which is considered a small amount comparing to the acknowledged losses of (at least eight machines).


The MP doubted in the timing of the fires which usually breaks out close to the budget announcement, showing that the fire when deliberately breaks out, it might convince all people of the importance of privatizing the company.


Al Husseiny asked about the industrial safety measures and the fire fighting units and equipments, and about why they did not control the fire immediately, he added that this fire is a part of Egypt arson serial.


On the other side an investigation committee of the Industrial Safety, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the prosecutors started research of the blaze cause (yesterday?), trying to identify the damage. The General Commissioner identified them by 50 thousand pounds, which was disputed by the initial search confirming that eight machines were destroyed by the fire, other than cotton, air conditioners and a Sulzer machine for towels and that their prices exceed a half million pounds.


The rumors are continuing about the “doer” and that it was not an electric spark as described by the General Commissioner Fo’ad Abdul Aleem Hassan. It was reported before that it might be a lot of rats inside the electrical switch box, causing the fire.


Ikhwanweb informed that there is an accusation to the section of power station as it is the cause of the blaze for letting the generators switched on, which led to the overloading of the machines. This accusation is not the only one. There are many accusations between textile workers and the power station workers and of Ghazl Al Mahala workers against the General Commissioner.


The Director of Socialism Prospects Center at Al Mahala Al Kobra and one of the former labor leaders at Ghazl al Mahala Hamdy Hussein said that the workers were shocked by the fire last Saturday, October 4, which broke out in three factories.


There were conflicting arguments and information on blogs and newspapers, but they all agreed on the electric spark without going into details: was it randomly or an electrical overload? Or carelessness within the operation process? Deliberate? Industrial Safety ignorance? Lack of safety resources? Or the failure of the Union committee on workers training on safety and avoiding dangers? Or all of the above?

Hussein uncovered that despite giving the workers a vacation for the Eid from Monday, September 29, to stop working on Sunday by the end of 11:30 p.m. shift and workers get out at 7:30. But their supervisors ordered them to continue working for an hour or more until the power is off (central) from the station, to increase production, so they continued working until the looms (machines) suddenly stopped.


The workers went out of the factory with their supervisors without switching off power from the switch box inside the factory and without switching off the looms. After ending their vacation, they went back to their work on Saturday, October 4, the supervisors ordered the workers to attend before official time by at least two hours again to increase the production. But when they entered, they were surprised by the power switched on.


Usually the supervisors go by themselves to the power station, switch on the switch and the machines suddenly operated with a current tougher than usual, because most of the other factories in the company are idle, so the spark happens which usually flies to the backlogged fluff in between machines, on the floors and usually found in factories’ air conditioners and fluff suction holes including cotton and industrial fiber as a result of lack of good cleaning and so the fire breaks out. Because of switching on the electricity, so the air conditioner and the suction in turn are switched on and so they transfer the fluff affected by the spark to be transferred rapidly to the fluff inside the air conditioners, inside and on the looms and so the fire spreads.


The fire could be spread from textile factory number 6 to number 16 or the contrary via the same air conditioner as they are stuck to one another and inside the same building separated by a fence. As for number 7, it is somehow away from them. But what happened to 6 and 16 could happen to 7 or to any of fabric or yarn, the more dangerous if it happens to the Bush factories (where the new Bush factory is in front of textile 6 and old Bush in front of textile 7).


The former leader added that the administration of Ghazl Al Mahala is responsible for its approval to the factories operation out of its official time and many supervisors are not trained to use the industrial safety tools and disregard ways of avoiding dangers.


Hussein ended his speech saying that in spite of the presence of the largest administration of industrial safety at Ghazl al Mahala Company and its trained workers at the up most level at the training administration (although most of them are from labor leaders transferred to it due to the famous strike of schools’ grant), but the training given to them is less than that demanded and it is only for taking a better level at work. More over, most of the safety means are at stores and inside the supervisors’ cabinets to keep them in a good condition until the date of delivery and not to use them, including gags, shoes and other things.


Posted in Parliament Requests  
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