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37 killed, over 450 injured in Bangladesh container depot fire

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh

The death tmassive fire which broke out in Sitakunda Upazila inoll in the  Chittagong, Bangladesh on Saturday night has risen to 37 and more than 450 were injured.

The fire broke out at BM Container Depot in the Kadamrasul area of Upazilazila. The bodies of the people who were killed in the fire will be handed over to the deceased’s families post the DNA profiling.

Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Alauddin Talukder of Chittagong Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) police outpost said, “The bodies brought in after 9 am are in such bad condition that their identities are impossible to determine. DNA tests are necessary to identify them.”

68 patients are receiving treatment at CMCH, while many others are being provided with medical care at various private hospitals in the city. At least five firefighters had died while trying to douse the flames, Fire Service and Civil Defence chief Brig Gen Md Main Uddin told the Dhaka Tribune, Bangladesh’s local media outlet.

The Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) Police Outpost Sub-Inspector (SI), Nurul Alam said that as per the preliminary investigation into the incident, it is being suspected that the container depot caught fire due to chemicals.

In the run-up to dousing the fire by the fire services, a massive explosion took place. After the explosion, the fire spread even further, reported Dhaka Tribune. SI Nurul Alam said that the fire broke out at around 9 PM. Though the fire broke out at around 9 PM, however, after several hours at 11:45 PM, a massive explosion took place.

Following this, the fire spread from one container to another due to the presence of chemicals in one of the containers. Istakul Islam, chief of Health and Service Department at Red Crescent Youth Chittagong, confirmed the deaths to Bangladesh’s local media outlet.

“Over 450 people have been injured in this incident of which, at least 350 are at CMCH. The death toll could be more at other hospitals,” he had said earlier.

As per the sources, the explosion shook the neighborhood and shattered glasses of windows of nearby houses. Earlier, Chittagong Fire Service and Civil Defense Assistant Director Md Faruk Hossain Sikdar had said, “Around 19 firefighting units are working to douse the blaze and six ambulances are also available on the spot.”

BM Container Depot is set up as an inland container depot that has been operating since May 2011. Most of the victims suffered from mild to heavy burns, and the health condition of several others is also critical.

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