The authorities in Bangladesh looked for survivors on Tuesday amid the smoldering ruins of a sprawling Rohingya refugee camp, in the future after a hearth killed at the very least 15 individuals, injured tons of and left tens of 1000’s homeless as soon as once more.
The carnage on the camp in Cox’s Bazaar, close to the border with Myanmar, was the newest tragedy for residents, who’ve lived for years in its squalid shanties since fleeing their houses in Myanmar in aftermath of a military-perpetrated bloodbath.
As many as 400 persons are lacking and lots of are presumed useless, in line with officers on the Inter Sector Coordination Group, a global aid group that oversees the camp. Some victims, witnesses mentioned, had been caught between the blaze and the camp’s barbed-wire perimeter fences.
“No one helped us,” mentioned Ro Arfat Khan, 21, who fled Myanmar together with his household in 2017 after the army razed their village. “If the Bangladesh authorities needed, they might’ve stopped the fireplace.”
Mr. Khan, who misplaced a member of his prolonged household in Monday’s blaze, mentioned the conflagration introduced again painful reminiscences of watching his house in western Myanmar burn to the bottom.
His household then walked for days earlier than arriving in Bangladesh, the place they took shelter underneath a tarpaulin sheet. They’d little within the camp. “Now,” he mentioned, “it’s all gone.”
The fireplace began round 2 p.m. Monday in one of many shelters, eyewitnesses mentioned. However it shortly grew uncontrolled, fueled by robust winds and tons of of cooking fuel cylinders that exploded because the flames raced throughout the camp.
A lot of these killed, together with the 73-year-old father-in-law of Mr. Khan’s sister, had been unable to outrun the firestorm. “He was too unwell and couldn’t stroll,” Mr. Khan mentioned.
Shahriar Alam, the junior minister for international affairs in Bangladesh, mentioned on Tuesday that an eight-member committee would investigate the fire and submit a report within the coming days.
However for a lot of Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority, the blaze is one other reminder of the worldwide neighborhood’s failure to make sure their security.
“All the things we owned is now ash,” mentioned Ro Anamul Hasan, whose shelter was utterly burned down. “That is the second time I misplaced the whole lot in my life.”
Among the almost 100,000 displaced individuals have sought shelter in close by camps. Others had been seen making an attempt to rebuild shelter amid the ashes of their dwellings, utilizing no matter they might discover — bamboo, scraps of plastic and polyethylene sheets.
Any slim hope of an eventual return to Myanmar was additional diminished in February, when the army that oversaw the genocidal marketing campaign seized energy in a coup.
“This tragedy is an terrible reminder of the susceptible place of Rohingya refugees who’re caught between more and more precarious situations in Bangladesh and the fact of a homeland now dominated by the army liable for the genocide that compelled them to flee,” the humanitarian group Refugees Worldwide mentioned in a press release.
Julfikar Ali Manik contributed reporting.