A Bangladeshi Product Tanker named Shagor Nandini-2 was carrying approximately 11 lakh litres of petrol and diesel to offload the cargo at the Padma Oil Depot in Jhalakathi town when it suffered an explosion.
Shagor Nandini-2 loaded with fuel for Padma Oil Company from Chattogram anchored near Sugandha Nadi Oil Depot, Jhalakathi. The vessel was supposed to unload the oil on Saturday afternoon, but the depot was closed due to the Eid Holiday.
Oil tank fire killed at least four, injured over dozen in Bangladesh. Video Credits: shots uncut / YouTube
The first explosion occurred at 2:10 pm on Saturday, close to Rajapur village on the southern banks of Sugandha River, near the district town, per Fire Service officials and eyewitness statements.
Eyewitness reports suggest that the explosion occurred in the tanker’s engine room, leading to a fierce fire that surrounded the tanker from all directions.
Firefighters rushed to the scene and controlled the blaze, though its exact cause remains unknown.
Luckily the oil onboard the vessel did not catch fire, as the blaze was controlled before it spread further.
The oil from the tanker was being diverted to other ships, per police reports and statements given to local media on 8 pm, Saturday.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Mofidul, said there were nine crew members on board, and 5 of them were rescued with burn wounds, while four were missing.
Those rescued were identified as Shakil (35), Faridul Alam (53), Iqbal Hone (27), Mainul Islam Hridoy (29), and a cook.
They were admitted to Barishal’s Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital and Jhalakathi Sadar Hospital for urgent medical attention.
Later the bodies of the four missing crew members were found.
Two ships of the Bangladesh Coast Guard and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority were deployed to remove the oil from the tanker.
Per reports, by Sunday morning, about 6-7 lakh litres of oil was transferred to another ship OT Mridula, aiding the immersed oil tanker to float upwards slightly.
In another development, 11 people, including nine police officers, were injured in a massive fire that broke out after a second explosion on the tanker on Monday evening. This happened during the oil removal process onboard the tanker Shagor Nandini-2.
People living along the Sugandha riverbank were scared and fled their homes after they heard the explosion.
When the fire broke out with a loud noise, the police officials aboard the tanker Shagor Nandini-2 were shocked and jumped into the river to save themselves.
Local trawler drivers and other police officers saved them and sent them to the hospital.
BIWTA Joint Director Muhammad Salim said the second explosion happened at 6:50 pm on Monday.
“I was within 200 yards of the explosion and, by some miracle, managed to escape its intensity,” he added.
Another oil tanker, Sagor Nandini-4, brought alongside Sagor Nandini-2 to collect its oil, is being moved away so the fire does not spread to that tanker.
References: BusinessStandard, Dhakatribune
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