At least 34 people have died and hundreds have been injured in a gigantic fire still ongoing at a container warehouse in Sitakunda, in southeastern Bangladesh, according to the latest report announced by a health official.

“25 people died in the fire, including five firefighters. The number of casualties is expected to rise as the fire is not yet fully under control,” said the official, Hasan Shahriar.

Many of the injured suffered cuts to their limbs and at least three people with more than 65% burns on their bodies were taken to a military hospital.

The fire broke out at 9:20 p.m. yesterday (3:20 p.m. GMT) at the BM container facility located in the Sitakunda area of ​​Chittagong, about 20 kilometers from Bangladesh’s largest seaport.

“We are not sure how it started, it could be due to an act of sabotage,” reported BM director Muzibur Rahman, who added that at the time the explosion occurred, there were about 250 workers inside the warehouse.

The head of the Chittagong fire service, Anisur Rahman, explained to Efe that as the flames began to spread, “some containers began to explode. We have faced 16 units, but we have not yet been able to control the fire,” since the deposit has about 50,000.

Some of those containers “had highly flammable chemicals,” and some of them are still being exploited, he concluded.

Bangladesh Inner Container Association (BICA) spokesman Ruhul Amin Sikder said that according to his information, some containers were storing hydrogen peroxide.

“After the fire incident, some containers with hydrogen peroxide could have exploded,” so “the magnitude of the explosion is not less than what we saw in Beirut, in Lebanon, a few years ago,” he said.

Currently, the Asian country has 19 private container depots and four of them are located in Sitakunda.

Industrial fires and accidents are common in Bangladesh, a country with few security measures and in which there are usually a large number of victims.

In 2019, a fire at a chemical plant in the Bangladeshi capital killed 70 people and injured 55 others.

Seven years earlier, at least 119 people died in a fire at a clothing factory in the Asian country.

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