People carry the body of a victim after a fire broke out at the BM Inland Container Depot, a Dutch-Bangladesh joint venture, in Chittagong, 216 kilometers (134 miles) southeast of capital, Dhaka, Bangladesh, early Sunday, June 5, 2022. (AP Photo)
DHAKA, Bangladesh — A massive fire at a container depot near a port city in southeastern Bangladesh killed at least 38 people and injured more than 100 others, officials and local media reported Sunday, as firefighters struggled to get the blaze under control.
The fire at the BM Inland Container Depot, a Dutch-Bangladesh joint venture, broke out around midnight Saturday following explosions in a container full of chemicals. The cause of the fire could not be immediately determined. The depot is located near country’s main Chittagong Seaport, 216 kilometers (134 miles) southeast of the capital, Dhaka.
At least five firefighters were among the dead, according to Brig. Gen. Main Uddin, director general of the Bangladesh fire service and civil defense. Another 15 firefighters were being treated for burns, he added.
Multiple rounds of explosions occurred after the initial blast as the fire continued to spread, Uddin said. Explosives experts from Bangladesh’s military have been called in to assist the firefighters. The explosions shattered the windows of nearby buildings and were felt as far as 4 kilometers (2 1/2 miles) away, officials and local media reports said.
Firefighters were still working to bring the fire under control on Sunday.
The death toll reached 38 by Sunday afternoon, according to Ekattor TV station, and the area’s civil surgeon said the number could still rise.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her shock at the accident and ordered adequate arrangement for medical treatment of the injured.
Bangladesh has a history of industrial disasters, including factories catching fire with workers trapped inside. Monitoring groups have blamed corruption and lax enforcement.
Global brands, which employ tens of thousands of low-paid workers in Bangladesh, have come under fire to improve factory conditions in recent years. In the country’s massive garment industry, which employs about 4 million people, safety conditions have improved significantly after massive reforms, but experts say accidents could still occur if other sectors do not make similar changes.
In 2012, about 117 workers died when they were trapped behind locked exits in a garment factory in Dhaka.
The country’s worst industrial disaster occurred the following year, when the Rana Plaza garment factory outside Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.
In 2019, a blaze ripped through a 400-year-old area cramped with apartments, shops and warehouses in the oldest part of Dhaka and killed at least 67 people. Another fire in Old Dhaka in a house illegally storing chemicals killed at least 123 people in 2010.
In 2021, a fire at a food and beverage factory outside Dhaka killed at least 52 people, many of whom were trapped inside by an illegally locked door.
MENDON, Mo. — An Amtrak passenger train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago struck a dump truck Monday in a remote area of Missouri, killing three people and injuring dozens more as rail cars tumbled off the tracks and landed on their sides, officials said.
PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.
O oceanic you sing and sail
White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas
For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors
You who loved the distant Sporades
You who lifted the tallest flags
You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves
Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens
Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades
What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams?
TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.
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