Death toll in Sitakunda explosion rises to 49: Civil Surgeon

Staff Reporter Published: 5 June 2022, 11:30 AM | Updated: 5 June 2022, 09:16 PM
Death toll in Sitakunda explosion rises to 49: Civil Surgeon

The death toll in the explosion and fire at a container depot in Sitakunda upazila of Chattogram has risen to 49. 

The district Civil Surgeon, Dr Ilyas Chowdhury, confirmed the tally to Jago News on Sunday afternoon. 

But in a briefing this evening, Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Mominur Rahman said 45 people were killed and 163 injured in the incident. 

Among the deceased, eight were Fire Service and Civil Defence personnel who died while trying to put out the fire.     

However, some of the bodies, which could be identified, were handed over to their respective families.

Meanwhile, the fire extinguishers could not bring the blaze under control yet despite around 18 hours passed since its inception.

The authorities of BM Container Depot declared Tk 10 lakh for the families of each victim of the incident, Tk 6 lakh for those who lost organs, and Tk 4 lakh for each injured.

Major (retd) Shamsul Haider Siddique, general manager of Smart Group, a sister concern of BM Container Depot, made the announcement in a press statement on Sunday evening. 

Earlier, the district administration formed a nine-member committee while the Fire Service and Civil Defence a three-member body to investigate the explosion and fire incident.

The Ministry of Labor and Employment announced Tk 2 lakh for the families of each victim of the incident and Tk 50,000 for each injured.

Earlier at 9 pm on Saturday, a fire broke out at BM Container Depot in Sonaichhari area and it spread fast as there were chemical substances, leaving many people dead and several others injured.

The injured were admitted to the district's different hospitals, including Chattogram Medical College Hospital. Some of them, later, succumbed to their injuries. 

The leaves of all physicians in Chattogram have been canceled. The district Civil Surgeon has urged the doctors of private hospitals to join the work at government hospitals, including CMCH.  

According to locals, police, and fire service officials, the fire spread from one container to another container on Saturday night. Later, an explosion occurred due to the presence of chemicals in one of the containers.

In this connection, Mujibar Rahman, Director of the depot, said the exact reason behind the fire could not be ascertained as the people involved in the depot management were also injured. But we are suspecting that the fire originated from a container.

He also said, "We will bear the cost of medical treatment of the injured people. We will also give maximum compensation to all fire victims."

Iqbal Hossain/MIT/SU