41 People Killed in Depot Fire in Bangladesh
The fire on Saturday night also injured more than 300 people.
- By Alex Saurman
- Jun 07, 2022
A fire at a depot in Bangladesh has killed 41 people, according to multiple sources.
On June 4, 2022, around midnight, explosions occurred in chemical-filled containers at a BM Inland Container Depot near Chittagong, Bangladesh, according to AP News. A massive fire broke out and continued to spread, though officials were not sure what caused the fire.
More explosions followed, and, per AP News, could be felt up to 2.5 miles away.
As of Monday, 41 people died, including nine firefighters, and about 300 people were injured, 12 in critical condition, according to BBC.
Officials, per BBC, said that incorrect storage of chemicals made the fire worse. The article said that hydrogen peroxide containers were mislabeled. Firefighters had been using water to put out the fire and not foam.
In a statement from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the U.N. agency wrote, “This incident illustrates the urgent need to ensure proper handling and storage of chemicals, proper training for storage facility staff at awareness and operational levels, and effective crowd control during an emergency incident. Additionally, the incident underscores the need for an effective industrial and enterprise safety framework and enforcement and training system to ensure a structured approach to mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery to all hazards.”
Bangladesh has faced other industrial disasters in the last ten years. According to AP News and NPR, in 2012, about 117 workers died after a fire at a garment factory. In 2013, 1,100 people died after a garment factory collapsed. In 2021, 52 people died from a fire at a food and beverage factory.
This is a developing story.
Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.