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Oil tanker vessel explosion kills six, injures two in Bangladesh

17 November 2021

The death toll from an explosion aboard an oil tanker in southern Bangladesh’s Jhalakathi district has risen to six. The November 12 blast occurred on the Sugandha River near a Padma Oil Company depot at around 08:30 local time. One person was pronounced dead at the scene, while seven were taken to hospital with severe burn injuries. Five of the injured later died as a result of their wounds.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Local news reports that ship’s captain died at the scene while the injured were transferred to a specialist burns unit in Dhaka, the country’s capital. A doctor at the hospital told reporters that the victims had suffered burns that covered between 40% and 70% of their bodies.

The impacted vessel, the OT Shagor Nandini-3, had been carrying over one million litres of petrol and diesel from Chittagong in the east of Bangladesh, to the Jhalakathi depot. The cause of the blast remains unknown, however an injured crewman told local news that mechanics had been working to fix an issue with a pipeline which had been preventing the crew from unloading the vessel’s cargo.

A total of 13 crewmembers had been onboard the ship when the blast occurred. It took two local firefighter crews around two hours to extinguish a fire, helping to prevent the ship from sinking.

Five of the injured were confirmed to have died between the morning and afternoon of November 16. Two of the injured were released from hospital following minor operations.

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