Authorities in Bangladesh have accused a container depot operator of not telling firefighters a couple of chemical stockpile earlier than it exploded with devastating penalties, killing no less than 49 folks.
The toll from the large blast, which adopted a fireplace on the BM Container Depot in Sitakunda and despatched fireballs into the sky, was anticipated to rise additional.
Some containers on the depot have been nonetheless smouldering on Monday, greater than 36 hours after the explosion, stopping rescuers from checking the world round them for victims.
Round a dozen of the 300 injured have been in essential situation.
The 9 useless firefighters are the worst toll ever for the fireplace division within the industrial-accident-prone nation, the place security requirements are lax and corruption usually permits them to be ignored.
“The depot authority didn’t inform us that there have been lethal chemical compounds there. 9 of our officers have been killed. Two fighters are nonetheless lacking. A number of individuals are additionally lacking,” fireplace division official Mohammad Kamruzzaman mentioned.
Purnachandra Mutsuddi, who led the fire-fighting effort on the 26-acre facility on Saturday evening, mentioned it “did not have any fireplace security plan” and lacked firefighting tools to douse the blaze earlier than it became an inferno.
“The protection plan lays out how the depot will combat and management a fireplace. However there was nothing,” Mutsuddi, an assistant director of the Chittagong fireplace station, informed media.
“Additionally they didn’t inform us concerning the chemical compounds. In the event that they did, the casualties would have been a lot much less,” he mentioned.
The BM Container Depot in Sitakunda, an industrial city 40 kilometres from Chittagong Port, is a three way partnership between Bangladeshi and Dutch businessmen with round 600 staff, and commenced operations in 2012.
Its chairman is known as on its web site as Bert Pronk, a Dutch citizen, however this scribe was unable to achieve him for remark. Few European businessmen function within the nation.
Native newspapers mentioned one other of its house owners is a senior official of the ruling Awami League occasion primarily based in Chittagong, who can be the editor of an area Bengali each day.
Police have but to put fees over the fireplace. “Our investigation is occurring. We are going to look into every part,” mentioned native police chief Abul Kalam Azad.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed grief over the lack of lives within the incident and prolonged his condolences to the folks of Bangladesh.
“Unhappy to listen to concerning the lack of valuable lives in a fireplace incident in Bangladesh. My heartfelt condolences & most honest sympathies are with the federal government and folks of Bangladesh,” he mentioned in a tweet.