Depot fire damages eyesight of over 60 victims

Six of them need to be sent to Dhaka for better treatment, says CMCH ophthalmologist

Some 63 victims of the massive fire and explosion at BM Container Depot at Sitakunda in Chittagong are suffering vision problems after they suffered eye injuries during the incident, doctors have said. 

Six of the victims have serious vision issues, ophthalmologist Prof Md Nurul Haque told media at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) on Tuesday.

He added that the six patients with eye injuries need to be sent to Dhaka for better treatment. “One of them may need to be sent abroad.”

It generally takes six to seven days to determine whether chemical injuries can cause long-term complications. And as we still don’t know what chemical caused their injuries, we cannot assure anything,” he added.

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Meanwhile, Bangladesh Army on Tuesday claimed the fire at the BM Container Depot has been brought under control after 60 hours.

Lt Col Md Ariful Islam, commander of the 18th Brigade of the 24th Infantry Division said: "The depot fire is yet to be fully doused even after 60 hours. However, there is no risk of new explosions on the site.”

At least 43 people were killed and over 450 injured in the fire caused by the explosion at the depot late on Saturday night.

Around 25 units of the Fire Service and Civil Defence were reportedly working on the scene, while around 250 members of the Bangladesh Army army joined the rescue operations.

Three probe panels, including a nine-member local administration committee, were formed on Sunday to probe the incident.