Bangladesh (MNN) — An explosion and deadly fire rocked the Bangladesh port city of Chittagong on Saturday night. The government has reported about 50 official casualties, but hundreds of people are still missing.
Firefighters responded to the blaze but used water on incorrectly labeled hydrogen peroxide. This caused further explosions that killed some firefighters and even people in the surrounding streets. A few residents were killed after approaching the fire to film it on their phones.
Chittagong sits on the Bay of Bengal and is Bangladesh’s second-most populous city.
Bruce Allen with FMI compares the tragedy to the Beirut explosion of August of 2020. “Reports that I received say the debris from the explosion was found a third of a mile away from the blast site. And the impact area was at least one and a half miles around the site, shattered windows and all that sort of thing.”
FMI has a thriving church plant in Chittagong. FMI partners from other areas are on their way to the city to help with the recovery process. Pray their love would point many to Jesus.
The fire broke out at a shipping container depot outside the city.
This isn’t the first time Bangladesh has suffered an industrial accident through carelessness. Just last year, fires at a food processing plant and a factory both killed around 50 people. Another 39 people died when a fire broke out on a ferry that was traveling at 170 percent passenger capacity.
Over 70 people died in 2019 when a fire from a warehouse spread into a neighborhood. And in 2013, the collapse of a building killed 1,136 people.
Allen says, “Pray for Bangladeshi society in general, as a nation, that they would recognize the significant need to reform their construction codes, their business practices, and their safety procedures.”
The header photo shows the port of Chittagong in the morning. (Photo courtesy of A junaid alam khan, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)