Tragedy in Bangladesh: A fire broke out in a private depot for shipping containers in Sitakunda, about 40 kilometres from the port city of Chittagon, leading to several explosions. At least 52 people have died, including warehouse workers, firefighters and police personnel. More than 450 were injured. The fire broke out on the eve of 4 June 2022. After several hours of efforts to contain the fire, not knowing what was inside the containers, firefighters’ work was almost finished until a huge first explosion occurred during the night, causing many chemical containers to explode at the same time. The explosions shattered the window panes of several nearby buildings and could be heard up to a distance of 4 kilometres.
The depot has been in operation since 2011. According to local sources, it is a private Inland Container Depot (ICD) where export and import goods are stored. A large quantity of hydrogen peroxide, a highly flammable chemical, was stored in the building. Chattagram Fire Department Deputy Director Anisur Rahman said during the firefighting operations, “We could not go near the fire for a long time as explosion sounds kept coming from inside. What started the fire, we don’t know yet.” After four days, the fire was extinguished.
MEDICAL EMERGENCY AND CALL FOR BLOOD DONATION
The injured were admitted to the CMC hospital. The large number of admissions has led to a chaotic situation. The injured are suffering from lack of immediate and urgent treatment at various hospitals due to lack of medicines like saline and painkillers. The head of the hospital’s burns and plastic surgery department, Dr Rafiq Uddin, told our partner YPSA that 50 per cent of the victims admitted are in critical condition. The death toll could rise even further. The hospital made a megaphone appeal for blood donations.