At least 49 people died and hundreds have been injured after a fire tore through a shipping container depot in Bangladesh, sparking a huge chemical explosion that engulfed many of those who had rushed to the scene to help. The death toll is expected to rise.
More than 300 people were injured in the incident, many of whom sustained life-threatening burns, and many bodies remain unrecovered as the fire continued to blaze for a second night in Sitakunda, near the busy southern port of Chittagong.
Hundreds of firefighters, police and volunteers, some with only flip-flops on their feet, arrived at the BM Inland Container Depot soon after the fire broke out at about 9 pm local time. As those people battled with the blaze, a number of containers holding chemicals exploded, enveloping many of the rescuers in flames and throwing debris and people into the air.
Mominur Rahman, the chief administrator of Chittagong district, said the depot contained millions of dollars’ worth of clothing products waiting to be exported to western retailers, for whom Bangladesh is a leading supplier.
Read more in an article from The Guardian.