A fire in a container depot in Bangladesh kills 49 people and injures hundreds

The fire broke out on Saturday night at the BM Container Depot in Sitaconda in Chittagong District, according to the state news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangsta.

The Firefighters Association said that among the dead, at least nine firefighters were deployed to put out the flames. Two firefighters were still missing late on Sunday evening.

Firefighters were still working to put out the flames on Sunday afternoon, as containers filled with chemicals including hydrogen peroxide or sulfur continued to explode, Reuters reported, citing fire service officials.

While the cause of the fire remains unknown, fire service officials said it may have originated from a container containing hydrogen peroxide and spread to other containers.

“It’s really getting worse with the spread of toxic fumes in the area,” Newton Das, a fire service official, told Reuters.

Local residents told the agency that the first explosion triggered an earthquake in the neighborhood, and later broke some glass windows in local infrastructure.

Firefighters assess the damage at the site of the fire.

Warehouse authorities announced that they will provide 10,000 Bangladeshi taka (about $11,200) in compensation to each family of workers who died in the fire, the Bureau of Sanitation Services said.

They also promised to pay 6,000 Bangladeshi taka (about $6,700) for each seriously injured worker who lost body parts in the fire and four Bangladeshi taka (about $4,500) for the other injured workers.

The state news agency reported that the company had formed a five-member investigation committee to investigate the fatal accident.

The accident is the latest in a series of fatal industrial accidents over several years in the South Asian country.

In December, at least 38 people were killed after a fire broke out release On the Suganda River, in the southern district of Jhalakathi.
A few months ago, at least 52 people were killed and about 50 others were injured when a massive fire broke out in a juice factory In Rupganj, east of the capital, Dhaka.

With additional reporting by Reuters.

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