Toll in Bangladesh container depot fire rises to 49, blaze still not doused
Twenty-five firefighting units have been deployed to extinguish the flames that broke out in the southeastern part of the country.
The toll in the fire incident at a container storage facility in southeastern Bangladesh’s Chattogram rose to 49 on Monday morning, Prothom Aalo reported, citing the local civil surgeon.
The fire broke out late on Saturday night swept through the BM Inland Container Depot. Some of the containers at the 30-acre depot contained chemicals, including the inflammable hydrogen peroxide.
More than 37 hours after the fire broke out, fire deprtment officers were still struggling to put out the blaze on Monday morning, Sitakunda Circle Additional Superintendent of Police Ashraful Karim said, according to the Daily Star.
Twenty-five firefighting units have been deployed at the site. Karim said that there was no water left in the ponds near the depot to douse the flames.
“The containers will now be removed with an excavator, and a path will be formed for fire service personnel to supply water to all the spots,” he said.
Meanwhile, bodies of 22 persons who died in the fire have been handed over to their families, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
“Among the 49 victims of the fire, 41 bodies were at Chittagong Medical College Hospital,” Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Md Mominur Rahman said. “The remaining eight bodies are at different hospitals in the city.”
On Monday, the Criminal Investigation Department had started collecting DNA samples from relatives of the remaining victims. “If samples are matched, the remaining bodies will be handed,” Rahman added.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed grief over the incident and ordered the deployment of all facilities required for the rescue operation. A high-powered investigation committee is expected to submit a report in the next two days.