Forty-three persons were killed and over 450 were injured after a massive fire broke out at an inland container storage facility in southern Bangladesh, PTI reported on Sunday, citing officials.
The fire swept through the BM Inland Container Depot in the city of Chittagong around midnight. Multiple firefighting units were at the scene attempting to extinguish the blaze on Sunday morning.
Some of the containers at the 30-acre depot contained chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Main Uddin, director general of the Bangladesh fire service and civil defense, told The Associated Press that five firefighters were among the casualties.
Chittagong’s civil surgeon said the toll is expected to rise further. Reports said some of the injured persons are in a critical state with burns covering between 60% to 90% of their bodies.
“Some 170 people were injured including at least 40 firefighters and 10 police officers,” said Abul Kalam Aza, the local police chief, Al Jazeera reported.
Chattogram Divisional Commissioner Ashraf Uddin said that an ex-gratia of 50,000 Bangladesh Taka (around 43,000 Indian Rupees) will be given to the families, according to PTI.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed grief over the incident and ordered the mobilisation of all facilities in rescue efforts.
Officials have also formed a high-powered investigation committee demanding it to submit a report in the next three days, according to PTI.
Last year, three workers were killed after an oil tank exploded in another container depot in Patenga, not far from Chittagong.