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Death toll from Ctg depot fire hits 37

The death toll from the devastating fire at BM Container Depot in Sitakunda upazila of Chattogram rose to 37.

Of the dead, seven are Fire Service men.

Chattogram Medical College Hospital sources said the death toll may rise.

Bangladesh Army, Rover Scouts and Red Crescent members are working with Fire Service men to bring the blaze under control as the depot fire is still burning.

Mujibur Rahman, director of BM Container Depot, said the actual reason behind the fire could not be known yet as those involved in depot management, are receiving treatment at different hospitals with injuries.

Of the injured, 130 people were admitted to Chattogram Medical College Hospital. Fifty-two are receiving treatment at the burn unit of the hospital.

Police, Fire Service and local sources said the blaze spread from one container to another. There was a huge explosion due to the presence of chemicals in a container. The blast shook the area at least four kilometers from the scene. The window glass of nearby houses broke down.

Chattogram Divisional Commissioner Ashraf Uddin said more than 200 injured and burnt people are undergoing treatment in different hospitals.

The divisional commissioner said that the relatives of the deceased are being given Tk 50,000 while Tk 20,000 is being given to the families of the injured.

Of the dead 12 were identified as fire man Moniruzzaman, 32, Mominul Haque, Mohiuddin, Habibur Rahman, Rabiul Alam, Tofael Islam, Faruk Jomadder, Afzal Hossain, Md Sumon, Md Ibrahim, Harun-or-Rashid and Md Nayon.

Chattogram Civil Surgeon Dr Mohammed Iliyas Chowdhury urged the city’s doctors to come forward to serve the injured.

Fire Service and Civil Defence Director General Main Uddin said that 25 units of the fire service in Chattogram, Khagrachhari, Cumilla and Feni are working to douse the fire.

“I found hydrogen peroxide written on some of the drums here. A team of experts from the army has arrived. We couldn’t locate the owners. We don’t know about the placements of the various types of containers.”

The privately-run BM Container Depot had around 4,300 containers and some of them contained different chemicals. Those chemicals caused repeated blasts and spread toxic smoke as the fire spread.

The fire broke out at the BM Container Depot in the Kadmarsul area around 10:30 pm on Saturday.

A seven-member committee has been formed to investigate the incident.