At least 35 people have been killed after a massive fire broke out last night at a container depot in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
About 450 people have been injured in the fire at the depot near Sitakunda and authorities fear the death toll will rise.
“So far, 35 dead bodies have reached the morgue here,” a police officer stationed at the state-run Chattagram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) told PTI news agency.
According to police officer Nurul Alam, posted to the police station of Chittagong Medical College Hospital, a preliminary investigation has determined that the fire started as a result of a chemical reaction.
Local media reported that the fire spread after an explosion.
The police officer said that while the fire broke out around 9 p.m. and the explosion happened around midnight. The fire spread rapidly after the explosion.
Istakul Islam, head of the health and service department of Red Crescent Youth Chittagong, said: “More than 450 people have been injured in this incident. The death toll could be more,” he said.
According to sources, the explosion was such that windows of nearby houses were shattered.
Chittagong’s Deputy Director of Fire and Civil Protection, Md Faruk Hossain Sikdar, said: “About 19 fire units are working to put out the fire and six ambulances are also available on the spot.”
The container depot has been in use since May 2011.