35 Killed, Over 450 Others Injured In Huge Fire At Bangladesh Container Depot

Dhaka: At least 35 people have been killed and over 450 injured in a massive fire at a private shipping container depot in Chittagong, Bangladesh, last night. Officers said the fire broke out in a container at the BM Container Depot in Kadamrasul area of ​​Seetakund Upazila in Chittagong around 9 pm on Saturday. Said on Sunday.Also Read – IC Diwangi? A woman who swims from Bangladesh to India to marry her boyfriend | What happened next

According to Chittagong Fire Service and Civil Defense Assistant Director MD Farooq Hossein Sikdar, “about 19 firefighters are working to extinguish the fire and six ambulances are also in place.” Read also – Bangladesh pacer Shohidul Islam quits West Indies tour due to injury

“A total of 35 bodies have been brought to the graveyard so far,” said a police officer residing at the Government Chhattagram Medical College Hospital (CMCH). CMCH has been reported to accommodate more fire-injured patients, but several firefighters are receiving treatment at a military hospital and some private facilities. Read also – India-Bangladesh rail services resume after two years suspension

Early on Sunday, June 5, 2022, firefighters are working to prevent a fire at the BM Inland Container Depot, a Dutch-Bangladesh joint venture in Chittagong, 216 kilometers (134 miles) southeast of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. (Photo / AP)

“More than 450 people were injured in this incident, at least 350 in the CMCH,” Istakul Islam, head of the Health and Services Division of the Red Crescent Youth Chittagong, was quoted by the Dhaka Tribune. He said the death toll may be higher in other hospitals.

Meanwhile, Chattogram Divisional Commissioner (DC) Ashraf Udeen said the families of the deceased were being paid USD 560 (Taka 50,000) by the DC office. Meanwhile, the Daily Star reports that families of the injured are being paid USD 224 (Taka 20,000). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has condoled the death of the people and ordered all the facilities for the defense campaign to be mobilized. Officials formed a high-level investigative committee and urged the report to be submitted within the next three days.

According to CMCH Police Outpost Sub-Inspector (SI) Nurul Alam, the container depot was initially suspected of causing chemicals. However, there was a massive explosion around 11:45 pm and the fire spread from one container to another due to the presence of chemicals in one container, the report added.

Eyewitnesses told telephone news agency PTI that the depot was almost empty, firefighters, police and other rescuers rushed to the scene after the fire and killed them after explosions of containers filled with chemicals.

Neighbors were shaken by the explosion, and the windows of nearby homes were shattered. Media reports, including TV footage, show that the explosion smashed the windows of several nearby buildings and caused panic from 4km away.

Brigadier General Mohammed Mainuddin, chief of the fire brigade, told reporters in the Seetakunda area on the outskirts of the port city that various chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide, were stored in containers at the depot and ignited.

Early on Sunday, June 5, 2022, unknown men drive after a fire at the BM Inland Container Depot, a Dutch-Bangladesh joint venture in Chittagong, 216 kilometers (134 miles) southeast of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. (Photo / AP)

Mujibur Rehman, director of the BM Container Depot, who issued the statement, said it was not clear what caused the fire. “But I think the fire started from the container.”

“Arrangements are being made to treat the injured better. We bear the full cost of treatment. The accident victims will be given maximum compensation, ”reported The Daily Star. “Moreover, we take responsibility for all the families of all the victims,” ​​he said.

BM Container Depot has been established as Inland Container Depot, which has been operating since May 2011. The private container depot is built on 21 acres of land in the Seetakunda area of ​​Chattagram, adjacent to the Bay of Bengal.

History of Industrial Disasters in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a history of industrial disasters, with factories catching fire with workers trapped inside. Monitoring groups blame corruption and loose enforcement for deadly incidents over the years.

Global brands employing tens of thousands of low-paid workers in Bangladesh have come under fire in recent years for improving factory conditions. Experts say that in the country’s huge garment industry, which employs about 4 million people, safety conditions have improved significantly after massive improvements, but accidents can still happen if other sectors don’t make similar changes.

In 2012, about 117 workers were trapped behind locked exits at a garment factory in Dhaka. The country’s worst industrial disaster occurred the year after the collapse of the Rana Plaza Garment Factory outside Dhaka, killing more than 1,100 people.

In 2019, fire broke out in a 400-year-old area with apartments, shops and warehouses in the oldest part of Dhaka, and at least 67 people were killed. In 2010, at least 123 people were killed in a fire that broke out in a house that illegally stored chemicals in Old Dhaka.

In 2021, at least 52 people were killed in a fire at a food and beverage factory outside Dhaka, many of them trapped inside an illegally locked door.

(With inputs from agencies)

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