Container depot in Bangladesh: Many killed in massive fire

Container depot in Bangladesh: Many killed in massive fire

Status: 05.06.2022 5:07 PM

A massive fire broke out in a blast at a container depot in Bangladesh. At least 49 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Chemicals were said to have been found in the containers.

At least 49 people have been killed in a massive fire at a container warehouse in Bangladesh. Officials said at least nine firefighters were also among the dead. The health chief responsible for the district said that more than 200 people have suffered burns. It was feared that an unknown number of people trapped in the flames could still be at the scene.

A fire broke out at the depot of Dutch-Bangladesh joint venture BM Inland Container Depot late on Saturday evening for an unknown reason and was not fully extinguished by Sunday, according to a spokesman for the fire department. Fire department spokesman Anisur Rahman said explosions in some containers made it difficult to control the fire. Firefighters found chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide in some containers. He said they could explode.

The fire broke out near the port city of Chittagong.

Special team left from Dhaka

According to the head of the Department of Fire and Civil Defense, a special team of firefighters was dispatched from the capital Dhaka, about 300 km away, to support the local fire department. 250 military personnel also helped put out the fire and tried to stop the chemicals from spreading to the nearby river.

The depot is 20 km from Chittagong, the country’s largest port and houses over 4,000 containers, as well as buildings and sheds.

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Fire and industrial disasters and deaths and injuries are more common in the South Asian country. In 2021, about 40 people died when a passenger ferry caught fire in December. In July of the same year, 52 people were killed in a fire at a food factory in Dhaka. The collapse of the “Rana Plaza” building with textile factories and shops in a suburb of Dhaka in April 2013 also caused international dismay – more than 1,100 people were killed at that time.

The warehouse handles goods for import and export and is located at a distance of about 20 kilometers from the main port of the country in Chittagong.

Image: AFP

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