40 Killed, Over 450 Injured in Massive Fire at Container Depot in Bangladesh

 - Sakshi Post

Dhaka: At least 40 people were killed and over 450 injured as a massive fire caused by an explosion ripped through a private chemical container depot in southeastern Bangladesh, officials said on Sunday.  The fire broke out on Saturday night at BM Container Depot in Kadam Rasul area in Sitakunda Upazila in Chittagong. 

“So far 40 dead bodies have reached the morgue here,” a police officer stationed at the state-run Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) told reporters. 

Istakul Islam, chief of the Health & Service said, “Over 450 people have been injured in this incident of which, at least 350 are at CMCH,” while adding ''the death toll could be more at other hospitals."

According to the CMCH Police official Nurul Alam, the fire broke out at the container depot around 9 pm on Saturday. Around 19 fire tenders were pressed into service as it was suspected that the container depot caught fire due to chemicals, however, at around 11:45 pm a massive explosion was heard and then the fire spread.

BM Container Depot is an inland container depot that has been in service since May 2011. The private container depot was built in Sutakinda area of Chattogram.

“The depot was largely empty, the firefighters, policemen, and other rescuers rushed to the scene after the fire initially broke out and the explosion of containers as the containers filled with chemicals killed them,” a witness told PTI over the phone. 

Chattogram Divisional Commissioner (DC) Ashraf Uddin has announced an ex-gratia of USD 560 (Taka 50,000) to the families of the deceased while a compensation of USD 224 (Taka 20,000) is being given to the families of the injured.

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Mourning the death of the people in the Kadam Rasul fire incident, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered the mobilisation of all facilities for the salvage campaign. Meanwhile, the officials have formed a high-powered investigation committee to submit a report in a time-bound manner.

(With inputs from PTI)

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