Bangladesh firefighters bring blaze at container depot under control three days after explosions killed 43

·2-min read

Firefighters have bought under control a blaze at a container depot in southeastern Bangladesh, three days after explosions at the site killed 43 people.

“The fire has not been put out completely but there is no risk of further explosion as our team has sorted out the chemical containers... one by one,” senior fire service official Monir Hossain told Reuters.

On Monday, the remains of two more people were found, taking the death toll to 43.

“We believe one of them was a firefighter, while the other was a security guard,” said fire service official Purno Chandro Mursody.

“Some containers are still smoking. It could take days to douse the fire completely. We need to remove the containers with utmost caution as the fire might be stoked,” he added.

The fire at the BM Inland container depot broke out at around midnight on Saturday following explosions in a container full of chemicals.

Local residents said the force of the explosion shook the entire neighbourhood and shattered window panes in nearby homes.

The depot is located in Sitakunda Upazila in Chittagong, 216km southeast of Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

While the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, authorities said a container of hydrogen peroxide may have been the source.

Authorities said the facility had not followed basic fire safety hazards.

“We haven’t found any basic fire safety measures... There were simply some extinguishers. Nothing else. They didn’t even follow storage guidelines for hazardous chemicals,” Mr Hossain said.

The director of the facility did not respond to calls, reported Reuters.

Ruhul Amin Sikder, secretary of the Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association, said in a statement on Monday that its members, including BM Container Depot, regularly handled hydrogen peroxide without incident and as far as he knew, the company followed guidelines.

Bangladesh’s home minister Asaduzzaman Khan announced a probe into the fire and promised to bring the guilty to book.

Officials said troops have been deployed to try to prevent chemicals spreading into canals and along the nearby coast.

The last major fire in Bangladesh was in July last year, when 54 people were killed at a food processing factory outside Dhaka.

Additional reporting by agencies

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting