At least 49 dead and hundreds injured in container depot explosion in Bangladesh, depot still on fire

The number of victims is expected to increase as some of the injured have serious conditions and volunteers have said they still saw bodies inside the facility.

At least 49 dead and hundreds injured in container depot explosion in Bangladesh, depot still on fire
At least 49 killed in Bangladesh container warehouse fire explosion in Bangladesh

At least 49 people have been killed and several hundred injured in a fire in Bangladesh that blew up a container depot.

Authorities say more than 300 people have been seriously injured, and the area's leading doctor, Elias Chowdhury, estimates to AFP that the number of casualties will increase as rescue efforts continue.

According to volunteer rescuers, there are still bodies in the smoky ruins of the facility. Chowdhury also confirms that the situation of all those present is not yet known.

Reazul Karim, who leads the fire brigade, tells AFP that at least seven firefighters have died and at least four are missing.

The fire started late Saturday local time at a warehouse near the important port of Chittagong with about 4,000 sea containers.

The fire apparently blew up several chemical containers and the fire engulfed firefighters, volunteers, and journalists who were on fire.

According to current information, the chemical containers contain at least hydrogen peroxide, a strong oxidant. Other containers, according to AFP, contained plenty of clothing, among other things, and textiles soaked in hydrogen peroxide solution could even catch fire on their own.

Due to the continuing risk of explosion, explosives experts from the Bangladeshi Armed Forces have also arrived.

A representative of the company operating the container warehouse says the cause of the fire is not clear. Rescue authorities suspect the fire started in a hydrogen peroxide container and spread quickly.