Bangladesh depot blast: Bangladesh depot allegation, in which at least 49 people were killed


Bangladesh Authorities on Monday accused a container depot operator of not telling firefighters about a chemical stockpile before it exploded with disastrous results, killing at least 49 people – nine of whom were from the fire service.

Death toll in horrific explosion after fire at BM container depot Sitakund And sent fireballs into the sky, hoping to move on.

Some containers were still smoldering on Monday, more than 36 hours later explosionPreventing rescuers from checking their surroundings for victims.

Of the 300 injured, about a dozen are in critical condition.

The nine dead firefighters are the worst toll ever for a fire department in an industrial-crash-torn country, where safety standards are lacking and corruption often enables them to be overlooked.

“The depot authority did not inform us that there were lethal chemicals. Nine of our officers were killed. Two fighters are still missing. Several people are also missing,” fire department official Mohamed Kamaruzzaman told AFP.

Poornachandra Mutsudi, who led the firefighting effort at the 26-acre facility on Saturday night, said he had “no fire safety plan” and lacked firefighting equipment to put out the blaze before it started.

“The security plan outlines how the depot will fight the fire and control the fire. But there was nothing,” Mutsudi, an assistant director at the Chittagong fire station, told AFP.

“They didn’t even tell us about the chemicals. Had they done so, the casualties would have been much less,” he said.

BM Container Depot in Sitakunda, an industrial town 40 kilometers (25 mi) from Chittagong port, is a joint venture between Bangladeshi and Dutch traders with approximately 600 employees, and began operations in 2012.

Its chairman is named on its website as Dutch citizen Bert Pronk, but AFP was unable to contact him for comment. Some European businessmen operate in the country.

Another owner is a senior official of the ruling Awami League party in Chittagong, who is also the editor of a local Bengali daily, local newspapers said.

Police have not yet charged the fire. Local police chief Abul Kalam Azad said, “Our investigation is going on. We will investigate everything.”

– ‘Fall like rain’ – On Monday, a gust of smoke from dozens of twenty-foot containers at the depot rose into the bright morning sky.

“Around 30-40 containers are still smoldering,” said fire department inspector Harunur Rashid. “The fire is under control. But the chemicals are the main problems.”

Rescue teams will search for more victims once the flames are completely extinguished.

Mujibur Rahman, director of BM Container Depot, said the cause of the initial fire is unknown.

According to Brigadier General Main Uddin, chief of the fire service, there was hydrogen peroxide in the container depot, and eyewitnesses said the whole city shook when the chemicals exploded.

“The explosion left fireballs in the sky,” said 60-year-old Mohammad Ali, who runs a grocery store nearby. “Fireballs were falling like rain.

“We were so scared that we immediately left our homes to take shelter,” he said. “We thought that the fire would spread to our area because it is very densely populated.”

Chittagong’s chief doctor Ilyas Choudhary said doctors from several hospitals had been called back from holidays to help treat hundreds of injured.

About 90 percent of Bangladesh’s nearly $100 billion trade – which includes clothing from H&M, Walmart and others – passes through the port of Chittagong at the top of the Bay of Bengal.

Rakibul Alam Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said about $110 million worth of clothing was destroyed in the fire.

“It is a huge loss to the industry,” he said.



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