Cox's Bazar, fire among the Rohingya: 7 dead and thousands homeless
The fire devastated five camps in which 40 thousand refugees lived, 300 homes of the local Bengali population also affected. The flames, which broke out yesterday afternoon, have not yet been completely extinguished. The refugees assisted by Caritas Bangladesh are in turn helping those who have lost everything.
Cox's Bazar (AsiaNews) - A huge fire has caused at least 7 deaths and 2,000 injured in Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar, the largest refugee settlement in the world.
The victims include four elderly people, two children and a woman. Four fire brigade teams are still working to control the flames in the densely populated area.
The fire broke out yesterday around 2pm and damaged all or part of the makeshift homes that housed around 40,000 Rohingya in five camps (camp 8 east, camp 8 west, camp 9, camp 10 and camp 11) of Balukhali, an area in the Ukhia area of Cox's Bazar.
Some witnesses believe that the fire originated from the gas cylinders used by the refugees. According to the Shomoy TV, the fire destroyed about 10 thousand homes, including 300 belonging to the local Bengali population.
Rohingya leader Mohannad Rafiq told AsiaNews, “Most of the Rohingyas could not bring out goods from house. Now victims are living in inhuman situation.”
One of them, Mohannad Sadat Hossian, relates: “I was sleeping after lunch. Suddenly I heard fire in our camp. I could not bring from my house. Now we are living in under open sky.”
The deputy head of the government of Bangladesh for refugees, Mohammed Shamsud Douza, explained to the media that the authorities are trying to put out the fire: "The fire is almost under control, we hope to put it out by the end of today".
Caritas Bangladesh is strongly committed to Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar. The staff explained to AsiaNews that the people assisted by the ecclesial body were not affected by the fire, but are offering to shelter the victims. Meanwhile, Caritas is monitoring the situation, preparing to intervene as soon as the authorities allow it.