A massive fire has swept through an inland container depot in southeastern Bangladesh, killing at least 49 people and injuring more than 300, officials said on Sunday, the latest incident highlighting the country’s poor industrial safety track record.
The fire broke out at a container facility on Saturday night at Sitakunda, 40km (25 miles) from the port city of Chittagong, triggering a huge blast and multiple container explosions subsequently at the site, officials said.
Firefighters were still scrambling to put out the fire on Sunday afternoon as chemical filled containers were still exploding, said fire service officials.
The explosion shook the neighbourhood and shattered glasses of windows of nearby buildings, local residents said.
The death toll could rise as some of the injured are in critical condition, said Chittagong civil surgeon Mohammed Elias Hossain. The injured included firefighters and policemen, he said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze. Fire service officials suspected it might have originated from a container of hydrogen peroxide and spread quickly to other containers.