Firefighters labored for a 2nd working day on Sunday to extinguish a substantial blaze that killed at minimum forty nine folks at a container depot in southeast Bangladesh, the newest incident highlighting the country’s inadequate industrial basic safety keep track of report.
The fireplace that also wounded additional than two hundred broke out at the shipping and delivery container facility on Saturday evening at Sitakunda, forty km (twenty five miles) from the port metropolis of Chittagong, triggering a big blast and many container explosions, officers mentioned.
Chemical-loaded containers were being nevertheless exploding on Sunday as firefighters tried to douse the fireplace and officers mentioned the military experienced joined the mission. Drone footage confirmed thick columns of smoke and rows of burnt-out containers.
Explosions experienced shaken the neighbourhood and shattered home windows in close by properties, regional citizens mentioned.
The loss of life toll could increase as some of the wounded are in a vital issue and rescue functions are nevertheless continuing, mentioned Chittagong civil surgeon Mohammed Elias Hossain. The wounded involved firefighters and policemen, he mentioned.
He mentioned all health professionals in the district experienced been named in to enable deal with the scenario, even though social media was flooded with appeals for crisis blood donations.
5 firefighters experienced died and at minimum fifty some others, like ten policemen, were being wounded, he additional.
Hundreds of distraught family members rushed from one particular healthcare facility to a different in a frantic lookup for their beloved types, witnesses mentioned.
“I dropped my brother,” Shakhawat Hossain, cousin of Afzal Hossain, twenty five, who died in the fireplace, mentioned. “His father died ten months back. He was the youngest but he was the only one particular who took treatment of his mom … she has been fainting yet again and yet again. Absolutely nothing can console her.”
It was not quickly distinct what experienced brought on the blaze. Fireplace services officers mentioned they suspected it may possibly have originated in a container of hydrogen peroxide and distribute speedily to other containers.
Newton Das, a fireplace services formal, mentioned there were being nevertheless explosions on Sunday afternoon of containers made up of hydrogen peroxide and some others made up of sulphur. “It is genuinely finding more challenging as harmful fumes engulfed the place,” he mentioned.
Bangladesh has prospered above modern a long time to turn into the world’s 2nd-most significant exporter of clothes, but the infrastructure and institutional target for industrial basic safety is nevertheless nascent, the Global Labour Business mentioned previously this yr.
Lax laws and inadequate enforcement of principles have been blamed for a number of huge fires that have led to hundreds of fatalities in modern several years.
In 2020, 3 folks were being killed following an oil tank exploded at a container depot in Chittagong’s Patenga place, even though in July previous yr, fifty four died when an inferno ripped via a food items processing manufacturing facility outdoors the funds Dhaka.
At minimum 70 died in a fireplace that engulfed a number of properties in a generations-previous neighbourhood of Dhaka in 2019.