DHAKA: At least five people died and some 100 were injured after a massive fire tore through a container depot in Bangladesh’s southeastern town of Sitakunda, officials said Sunday.
The fire broke out at an inland container storage facility just 40 kilometres (25 miles) outside of the country’s main sea port of Chittagong shortly before midnight, fire service official Jalal Ahmed said.
Multiple firefighting units rushed to the depot to douse the fire when a massive explosion rocked the site, injuring scores of people, including firefighters.
Chittagong’s chief doctor Elias Chowdhury told AFP that at least 5 people were killed and some 100 were injured.
Of the injured, some 20 people were in critical condition with burns covering between 60 to 90 percent of their bodies.
Emergency crews were still working to put out the fire Sunday morning, and local hospitals, including military clinics, were treating the injured.
Ruhul Amin Sikder, a spokesman for the Bangladesh Inland Container Association (BICA), said some of the containers at the 30-acre private depot contained chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide.
The director of the facility, called B.M. Container Depot, Mujibur Rahman said the reason behind the fire was still unknown. He added the facility employs some 600 people.
In 2020, three workers were killed after an oil tank exploded in another container depot in the neighbouring Patenga area.
There are 19 private inland container depots in the South Asian nation handling the country’s exports and a large chunk of import goods.