A hearth within the Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh has destroyed 1000’s of houses and killed a number of individuals, officers and witnesses have mentioned within the wake of one of many worst blazes to hit the settlement lately.
Whereas neither UN nor Bangladeshi officers engaged with the camp may affirm the variety of deaths, refugees within the settlement mentioned a number of had died within the fireplace that had torn by means of the Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar.
Footage of the scene confirmed black smoke billowing over burning tents and makeshift houses, with the reason for the hearth presently unknown.
“Fireplace companies, rescue and response groups and volunteers are on the scene to attempt to management the hearth and stop it spreading additional,” mentioned Louise Donovan, spokesperson for U.N. refugee company UNHCR in Cox’s Bazar.
Mohammed Shamsud Douza, the deputy Bangladesh authorities official in control of refugees, mentioned authorities had been attempting to manage the blaze.
The camps in southern Bangladesh are dwelling to greater than 1,000,000 Rohingya muslims, the bulk having fled Myanmar in 2017 amid a army crackdown UN investigators mentioned had “genocidal intent” – charged Myanmar denies.
It comes after one other massive blaze in January destroyed houses however was believed to have induced no casualties.
Danger of fireside within the densely packed settlements are excessive, nevertheless Onno Van Manen, Nation Director of Save the Youngsters in Bangladesh, mentioned Monday’s blaze was the biggest but.
“It’s one other devastating blow to the Rohingya refugees who dwell right here. Simply a few days in the past we misplaced certainly one of our well being services in one other fireplace,” he mentioned.
Zaifur Hussein, a 50-year-old refugee who escaped the hearth however misplaced his dwelling and was sheltering with associates, mentioned he believed dozens might have been killed and that fencing across the camps made it tough to flee.
“After we had been in Myanmar we confronted plenty of issues… they destroyed every part,” he mentioned. “Now it has occurred once more.”
Snigdha Chakraborty, the Bangladesh director for Catholic Reduction Providers, mentioned she was fearful in regards to the lack of medical services within the space.
“Medical services are primary and burns require subtle therapy, plus hospital beds are already partly taken up with COVID-19 sufferers,” she mentioned.
“Almost definitely there might be fatalities as a result of the hearth is so massive.”
In the meantime A Rohingya chief in Cox’s Bazar, a sliver of land bordering Myanmar in southeastern Bangladesh, mentioned he noticed a number of lifeless our bodies.
“Thousand of huts had been completely burned down,” Mohammed Nowkhim instructed Reuters.
Extra reporting by Reuters