Bangladesh fire: 40 dead in massive fire at container depot in Chittagong

Firefighters are continuing their efforts to bring the blaze under control

<p>Firefighters try to extinguish a fire that broke out at a container storage facility in Sitakunda, about 40 km from the key port of Chittagong</p>

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire that broke out at a container storage facility in Sitakunda, about 40 km from the key port of Chittagong

Leer en Español

A massive fire at a container depot in southeastern Bangladesh has killed at least 40 people and injured over 450, according to officials.

“So far 40 dead bodies reached the morgue here,” a police officer at the state-run Chattagram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The victims include at least five firefighters.

Speaking to the Bangla Tribune, CMCH police outpost assistant sub-inspector Alauddin Talukdar earlier reported that 28 people had died as of 11.15am on Sunday.

At least 350 of the injured people are receiving treatment at CMCH, according to the chief of Red Crescent Youth Chittagong’s Health and Service Department, Istakul Islam.

“The death toll could be more at other hospitals,” 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. The depot is located in Sitakunda Upazila in Chittagong, 216kms (134 miles) southeast of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

Mominur Rahman, chief administrator for the Chittagong district, is reported to have said there were “still several pockets of fire in the depot” on Sunday morning.

In a statement to the Associated Press early on Sunday morning, Chittagong’s civil surgeon Mohammed Elias Hossain confirmed the deaths of six people.

The death toll later rose to at least 16 at the CMCH, according to local TV news reports.

At the time, Mr Hossain indicated that the number could still rise further, and that many fire service officials and police were among the injured. He appealed to all doctors in the district to help tackle the emergency medical situation.

The fire is suspected to have started in a container of hydrogen peroxide, before quickly spreading to other containers.

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

TV news station Ekattor TV reported that the depot contains about 5,000 containers. The Dutch-Bangladeshi joint venture handles goods for export and import, and is located around 40kms from Bangladesh’s main sea port in Chittagong.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in