Firefighters labored for a second day on Sunday to extinguish a large blaze that killed at the least 49 individuals at a container depot in southeast Bangladesh, the most recent incident highlighting the nation’s poor industrial security observe file.
The hearth that additionally injured greater than 200 broke out on the transport container facility on Saturday evening at Sitakunda, 40 km (25 miles) from the port metropolis of Chittagong, triggering an enormous blast and a number of container explosions, officers mentioned.
Chemical-filled containers have been nonetheless exploding on Sunday as firefighters tried to douse the hearth and officers mentioned the military had joined the mission. Drone footage confirmed thick columns of smoke and rows of burnt-out containers.
Explosions had shaken the neighbourhood and shattered home windows in close by buildings, native residents mentioned.
The loss of life toll may rise as a few of the injured are in a crucial situation and rescue operations are nonetheless persevering with, mentioned Chittagong civil surgeon Mohammed Elias Hossain. The injured included firefighters and policemen, he mentioned.
He mentioned all docs within the district had been known as in to assist deal with the state of affairs, whereas social media was flooded with appeals for emergency blood donations.
5 firefighters had died and at the least 50 others, together with 10 policemen, have been injured, he added.
A whole lot of distraught family rushed from one hospital to a different in a frantic seek for their family members, witnesses mentioned.
“I misplaced my brother,” Shakhawat Hossain, cousin of Afzal Hossain, 25, who died within the fireplace, mentioned. “His father died 10 months in the past. He was the youngest however he was the one one who took care of his mom … she has been fainting repeatedly. Nothing can console her.”
It was not instantly clear what had triggered the blaze. Fireplace service officers mentioned they suspected it could have originated in a container of hydrogen peroxide and unfold shortly to different containers.
Newton Das, a fireplace service official, mentioned there have been nonetheless explosions on Sunday afternoon of containers containing hydrogen peroxide and others containing sulfur. “It’s actually getting tougher as poisonous fumes engulfed the world,” he mentioned.
Bangladesh has prospered over latest many years to change into the world’s second-biggest exporter of clothes, however the infrastructure and institutional focus for industrial security continues to be nascent, the Worldwide Labour Group mentioned earlier this 12 months.
Lax rules and poor enforcement of guidelines have been blamed for a number of giant fires which have led to tons of of deaths lately.
In 2020, three individuals have been killed after an oil tank exploded at a container depot in Chittagong’s Patenga space, whereas in July final 12 months, 54 died when an inferno ripped by way of a meals processing manufacturing unit exterior the capital Dhaka.
Not less than 70 died in a fireplace that engulfed a number of buildings in a centuries-old neighbourhood of Dhaka in 2019.
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