A dedicated COVID-19 isolation center at Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh was gutted in a fire Sunday night, but the patients there were apparently unharmed, according to official sources.
“The fire broke out at around 7 pm local time [1300 GMT] and we doused it after two hour-long hectic efforts along with Rohingya refugees and locals,” a Ukhiya Fire Service and Civil Defense officer in Cox’s Bazar told Anadolu Agency.
All 12 Rohingya isolated at the center – though the center has 70 isolation beds – were reportedly safely transferred to another location.
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He added that the incident would be investigated by the fire service, adding that according to eyewitness and evidence so far, “We are predicting that the fire may have originated from an electric short circuit.”
A major fire at the world’s largest refugee camp last March killed at least 15 members of the community and burned to ashes more than 10,000 shanties, including a Turkish field hospital.
A massive fire broke out in Refugee camp 20 in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, extension burning down COVID-19 isolation center.#Rohingya #Bangladesh
Photo: St-Hamidu pic.twitter.com/1VPo96QsJi
— Ro Mehrooz (@romehrooz) January 2, 2022
Since late 2017, the camps have housed some one million Rohingya Muslims who fled an organized persecution campaign in neighboring Myanmar.
Bangladesh ferry fire killed at least 37
At least 37 people died and 74 others rescued after a fire broke out on 24th December 2022 on a passenger ferry on the Sugandha River in Bangladesh, according to official sources.
“Until now, we have recovered 37 charred bodies and 74 passengers with burns. Fire doused fully hours ago. But still now our patrolling teams and divers are searching for missing ones in the river,” Brig. Gen. Sajjad Hossain, the director-general of the country’s Fire Service and Civil Defense, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.
He added that some of the injured were rescued by local people while many others jumped into the river before the rescue teams reached the spot.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, one of the passengers of the ferry who somehow managed to reach land with his wife said over the phone that the fire spread very quickly and many inside the vessel died due to suffocation.
“As the ferry was fully packed with passengers and of them, there were many women, children, and aged commuters and most of them could not come out of the deck,” Hossain Muhammad Al-Muzahid, the administrative head of southern Patharghata coastal area, said.
Dozens of people have died in Bangladesh after a deadly fire swept through a ferry in the southern district of Jhalokati.
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— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 24, 2021
“I was standing at the side of the launch with my wife and suddenly I saw fire razing out from different sides. Instantly I jumped into the river with my wife. We both know how to swim and somehow managed to reach the land. It was such a terrible incident in my life that I had never seen before,” Muzahid added.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk