A massive fire and a huge explosion in an inland container depot near the port city of Chittagong, Bangladesh, killed at least 30 people and injured hundreds more.
The fire broke out at BM Container Depot, a Dutch-Bangladesh joint venture company, on Saturday night, triggering multiple container explosions after a huge blast at the site.
The fire is suspected to have originated from a container of hydrogen peroxide before swiftly spreading to other containers. According to local media, the explosion was so powerful that it could be heard from several km away and shattered the windows of surrounding buildings. Several hours after the explosion, the fire was still raging on Sunday morning.
The Dutch-Bangladesh JV has been operating since 2011, handling goods for export and import, and is located around 40 km from Bangladesh’s main seaport. Officials said the depot contained millions of dollars of garments waiting to be exported to Western retailers.
The fire has left about 450 people injured. Local media reports the death toll could rise as some of the injured are in critical condition, including police and fire service personnel. Hospitals in the area are overwhelmed and have requested blood donations.