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Egypt Offers Condolences over Deadly Blaze in Bangladesh

Mon 06 Jun 2022 | 03:06 PM

On Monday, Egypt offered profound condolences over the loss of precious lives in a fire incident at a container facility in Bangladesh.

“Egypt also extends its condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to all the injured. Egypt affirms its solidarity with the government and people of Bangladesh in this painful incident," the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Firefighters in Bangladesh battled for a third day on Monday to stamp out a massive fire that killed 41 people at a container depot in an incident that spotlights the South Asian nation's poor safety record.

Drone footage showed thick columns of smoke and rows of burnt-out containers as Saturday's fire persisted after a huge blast and shipping container explosions at Sitakunda, 40 km (25 miles) from the southeastern port city of Chittagong.

The fire has been largely reined in but not entirely extinguished, as containers nearby loaded with chemicals pose a risk of life-threatening explosions, fire officials said.

"Our firefighters are working hard, but due to the presence of chemicals it's too risky to work close by," said Anisur Rahman, fire service chief of the port city.

Similar explosions, some of which shattered the windows of buildings in the neighborhood, have already complicated the firefighters' task.

Troops have also joined the effort to prevent the spread of chemicals in nearby canals and along the Bay of Bengal coastline, officials said.

Officials revised the death toll down to 41 from 49, with more than 200 injured. The tally included at least nine dead firefighters, while 10 policemen were among the 50 rescue officials injured, said city police official Alauddin Talukder.

More deaths are feared, however, as some of the injured are in critical condition, said Chittagong doctor Mohammed Elias Hossain.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, but fire officials suspect it could have originated in a container of hydrogen peroxide before spreading quickly.