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At Least 34 Dead In Bangladesh Container Depot Fire

At Least 34 Dead In Bangladesh Container Depot Fire

The fire is still being battled by emergency services at the scene.

A huge fire in a container depot in Bangladesh has killed at least 34 people and left over 450 others injured.

The fire broke out at the BM Inland Container Depot overnight on Saturday 4 June, following explosions in a container full of chemicals including hydrogen peroxide. The depot – believed to contain up to 5,000 containers – is located 134 miles away from Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka in Sitakunda Upazila in Chittagong.

The fire is believed to have started after the container of hydrogen peroxide exploded, setting fire to other containers within the depot. Residents nearby said the force of the explosion shook the entire neighbourhood and shattered window panes of nearby homes.

At least 34 people have now died in the blaze.

Residents nearby were reportedly woken up by an explosion and windows of nearby buildings have been shattered. One local shopkeeper told reporters from the AFP news agency that a piece of debris had landed in his pond, over half a kilometre away, describing the incident as 'fireballs falling like rain'.

Lorry driver Tofael Ahmed said: “The explosion just threw me some 10 metres from where I was standing. My hands and legs are burnt.”

Another volunteer reported that he had seen more bodies inside the area affected by the fire.

Speaking earlier on Sunday morning, Health department director Hasan Shahriar said in a statement: “Twenty-five people have died in the fire including five firefighters. The death toll is expected to increase as the fire is still not totally under control.”

The number of deaths is now believed to be at 34.

The fire continues to blaze at the depot site, with the number of injuries mounting - particularly for the emergency services attending the scene. So far, five firefighters are believed to be among the dead and several injured.


Hospitals in the nearby vicinity are reportedly ‘overwhelmed’ and appealing for blood donations to help. 

Firefighters are said to still be struggling to put out the fire on Sunday morning, with continued explosions making it more difficult, according to fire officials.

The army has also been deployed to the area to prevent chemicals flowing into the sea.

The fire is also expected to have a knock on effect for one of Bangladesh’s main exports; clothing. The depot is reported to contain millions of dollars worth of garments waiting to be exported to Western retailers.

Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of garments and supplies various large retailers in the West.

The depot in Sitakunda is also a transit point for containers travelling through the port in Chittagong, which is Bangladesh's second-largest city. 

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World News, News