• Monday, Jul 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Massive fire at Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar

  • Published at 06:29 pm March 22nd, 2021
Fire Balukhali Rohingya camp
A massive cloud of smoke comes out of the Balukhali Rohingya camp at Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar on Monday, March 22, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

The fire spread rapidly because of gusty winds and was doused around 9:30pm

A massive fire ripped through the Balukhali Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar’s Ukhiya on Monday.

Flames erupted at camps number eight and nine around 4pm, leaving over 3,000 shanties, various NGO offices and police barracks gutted.

Upon being informed of the incident, at least seven firefighting units rushed to the scene to put out flames that were spreading rapidly due to heavy winds, according to officials.

Residents of Rohingya camp standing in front of the scene as massive smoke engulfs the area Collected

Several government response services, including rescue teams and aid agencies, joined fire services to evacuate the Rohingyas and take them to nearby camps. Bangladesh Army and hundreds of volunteers from nearby camps also joined the operation.

After trying for more than five hours, firefighters managed to douse the fire at around 9:30pm, Cox’s Bazar Additional Superintendent of Police Md Rafiqul Islam said.

The fire left several shanties gutted at the Balukhali Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar Dhaka Tribune

Md Shihab Kaiser, commander of Balukhali 8th APBn, said: “A portion of an APBn barrack was gutted in the fire. Along with Rohingya shanties, schools and NGO offices were also burned to the ground.”

The fire also left Boli Bazar, the biggest local market at the Rohingya camp, in ashes. Abdul Hakim, one of the residents of the camp, said products worth at least Tk50 crore were gutted in the fire.

Some locals reported that their family members had been missing following the fire at the camp.

"The fire started in the afternoon and spread very quickly in the camps," said Rohingya leader Lalu Majhi. 

Local residents tried to put out the flames themselves before reporting it to the fire service, he added.

According to sources, a total of seven blocks in Camp nine were completely gutted, while two other blocks were burned partially.

Locals claimed the fire started from a shack inside camp eight.

However, Ukhiya police station Officer in-Charge (OC) Gazi Salauddin said no credible sources had confirmed how the fire started.

He said Rohingyas at the scene are giving different accounts of the fire and blaming each other.

“We will learn about the real reason after investigation,” the police official said.

Shamsud Douza, additional commissioner for Relief and Refugee Repatriation, said: "I have received news of the fire at the camp. We are not sure how much damage was caused by the fire."

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General Antonio Vitorino expressed concern about the fire.

He said in a tweet: “I am deeply concerned by the impact of a terrible fire today in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees are affected. IOM teams and partners are working together to respond to the crisis and ensure the safety and well-being of all.”

Earlier in January, at least 500 makeshift dwellings were gutted in a fire at the Nayapara Rohingya refugee camp in Teknaf, Cox's Bazar.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail