DEVELOPING STORYDEVELOPING STORY,
Doctors say the death toll could rise as some of the injured are in critical condition.
A massive fire has swept through a container depot in southeastern Bangladesh, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 170, according to officials.
The fire broke out at a container facility on Saturday night at Sitakunda, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the port city of Chittagong, triggering multiple explosions, officials said.
“Sixteen people have been killed in the fire. The number of fatalities is expected to rise as some of the injured are in critical condition,” Chittagong’s chief doctor, Elias Chowdhury, told the AFP news agency.
Those injured included firefighters who had been at the scene attempting to douse the blaze.
They were hurt during the secondary explosions.
“Some 170 people were injured including at least 40 firefighters and 10 police officers. Three firefighters were also killed,” said Abul Kalam Aza, the local police chief.
Firefighters were still working to put out the fire on Sunday morning, police said.
The explosions shook the neighbourhood and shattered glasses of windows of nearby houses, local residents said.
Chittagong civil surgeon Mohammed Elias Hossain has urged all doctors in the district to help tackle the situation and called for emergency blood donations.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.
Fire service officials said they suspect it may have originated from a container of hydrogen peroxide and spread quickly to other containers.
About 5,000 containers are at the BM Inland Container Depot, which handles goods for export and import, according to local media.