By breaking the guidelines, hazardous chemicals were kept near to the containers restored with garment items that fed the blaze at the BM Container Depot in Chattogram’s Sitakunda on June 4, 2022. The incident left more than 49 dead and over 200 wounded. The number of fatalities is likely to increase as some injured are in critical condition, and many firefighters remain missing on the mission to control the fire. However, the Bangladesh army was confirmed to have finally put out the devasting fire at the spot after 60 hours. The editorial contains Analysis of Massive Explosion in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Khairul Alam Sujan, Vice President of Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (BAFFA), said after visiting the spot, “it was primarily discovered that containers with hazardous chemicals were kept with those full of RMG items, without maintaining enough distance.” He added, “Containers carrying hazardous chemicals must be stored in a designated place at a depot with proper safety measures, maintaining enough distance from the other containers.”
Faruk Hossain Sikder, Assistant Director of Fire Service and Civil Defence of Chattogram division, said many plastic gallons containing hydrogen peroxide were discovered strewn across the depot after a massive explosion. Mentioning that water should not be used to extinguish the fire in case of some chemicals, another official said that if they had been informed that there was hydrogen peroxide in a few containers, they would have taken other necessary measures and processes to douse the blaze.
As per the customs record, around 240 tonnes of hydrogen peroxide were in 16 containers. It was supposed to be shipped to Pakistan. However, these belonged to Al Razi Chemical Complex Limited, owned by Mojibur Rahman, who owns the depot. Witnesses confirmed that the fire broke out around 9:30 pm on the mentioned day; firefighters, depot workers, and locals tried to put out the blaze with water from proximity. Then, around 10:45 pm, a vast explosion jolted buildings even several kilometers away. The bang could be heard eight to 10 kilometers from the scene.
The Fallen Heroes
Heroism is bravery and selflessness. A firefighter is responsible for rushing into a fire and risking his life to save others without even knowing who is inside the danger. It is time to dedicate them.
To bring some solvency to his family, Mr. Rana Miah joined Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defence in Sitakund town. His father owns a small shop which is not enough to serve a family. Mr. Rana earned 16,000 per month and used to send the money to his family. For this money and from an unwavering sense of duty, this young man faced the roaring inferno at the BM container depot at night. A viral video of Rana’s last moments shows a team of firefighters tackling a towering inferno with hose pipes. Then, in a moment, a container exploded with a shattering noise. And the screen went black.
Meanwhile, another hero named Mr. Alauddin’s body has been discovered. His wife, Taslima Sultana, was riddled with despair. The couple had married almost seven years ago and have a five-year-old son.
Mr. Nipon Chakma, a firefighter transferred to Sitakunda from Rangamati Fire Station, was burnt; that is not possible to identify without DNA matching. Mithu Dewan was stationed in Kumira and had rejoined work after a leave the day before the explosion took place. But unfortunately, he, too, lost his soul in the devastating fire.
The parents of Md. Fariduzzaman is currently experiencing the most agonizing wait of their lives as their son remains traceless, even two days after he went to fight the blaze. Mr. Farid was the elder son of van-puller Saiful Islam and Fulmati Begum of Rangpur’s Mithapukur Upazila. He joined the fire force in Sitakunda station in 2019.
The other deceased firefighters whose bodies were found are Mr. Shakil Tarafdar, Amran Hossain Majumder, Moniruzzaman of Kumira fire station, and Ramjanul Islam and Salauddin Kader Chowdhury of Sitakunda Fire Station.
United we stand, divided we fall – Bangladeshi people proved it. Right after the news of the deadly explosion, more than 200 students of the University of Chittagong headed to Chattogram Medical College Hospital, 25km away from the university, in two institutional buses in the middle of the night. Their purpose was to volunteer, donate blood, and serve severely injured people in every way possible.
However, not only students attend to help, but many youths of different social, political, and voluntary organizations also rushed to CMCH to help. In the meantime, pharmacies close to CMCH delivered free medicine for injured patients, while ambulance services came forward to work the entire night for free, carrying injured patients and dead bodies.
A staff from Hasan Pharmacy in front of CMCH was seen holding a placard, prompting the attendants of injured patients to inform him whether they needed any medicine. It was to provide the medication free of cost.
Medical staffers, nurses, and doctors of Chattogram Medical College Hospital struggled to provide proper treatment to the victims even though their infrastructure was limited. Indeed, humanity exists!
Nowadays, being alive has become uncertain. The number of accidents, likewise, road accidents, and fire incidents, continue to spiral out of control. Experts say unprofessionalism, lack of awareness, faulty plans or designs, and the operation of the wrong way are mainly reasons behind the rise in the number of accidents and fatalities.
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