A massive fire at a container depot near a port city in southeastern Bangladesh killed at least 49 people, including nine firefighters, and injured more than 100 others, officials and local media reported Sunday, as efforts to extinguish the blaze continued into a second night.
The inferno 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 nine firefighters were among the dead, according to Brig. Gen. Main Uddin, director general of the Bangladesh fire service and civil defense. More than 10 others 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.
Now, obviously this is not as directly related to western companies as the Rana Plaza collapse or any of the many other horrible industrial disasters that have killed so many Bangladeshis. But it’s all part and parcel of the same system that leads companies to move there. Simply put, it’s a nation that doesn’t care about workers and doesn’t allow them to protest and organize to improve their conditions. So how should we act as global citizens who benefit from these deaths every single day to our low prices on goods?