Sitakundu Blaze Where is the End? -Rakibul Hasan
The whole country was stunned to see the burnt and mutilated corpses of countless people in the fire explosion of the BM container depot at Sitakunda in Chittagong. How insignificant, how cheap, how insecure is the life of poor people in this country is proved once again. Screaming is going on all over Chittagong. Around the killed people burnt, mourning of relatives is going on! But does it matter? Will it stop wasting the life of the poor? Will the officials of our administration, formed by irregularities and mismanagement step by step, be moved by it?
No one has said what kind of chemicals are in such a large container depot. No one even knew. That’s why when the members of the fire brigade have moved forward with infinite courage, they have ignited themselves in the explosion. Initially none of the owners were found there. There was no one on their side to help the rescuers. During the rescue operation, the chemicals in one container after another exploded and people were burnt vehemently.
An indescribable situation has arisen in the hospitals. Hundreds of injured people have been brought there. Doctors and service workers are trying their best to cure the casualties by eliminating sleep deprivation. Many ordinary people have come forward to help the victims. Many have rushed to donate blood. Without any training many have come forward to help pull humanity. The question is, who or what is responsible for this incident? Will they be judged? Why didn’t the fire brigade have any information about the chemical? Were those chemicals there legally?
Most of the casualties at the Sitakunda container depot are poor workers, rescue fire service personnel and police personnel. Some were mortgaging their lives for a little bit of livelihood, some were sacrificing their lives to fulfill their responsibilities or to save humanity. Seems like the worker made his life ashes in the fire of greed of the owner.
On a regular basis, one after another terrible fire accidents are happening. People and resources are being reduced to ashes in the fires. When people are dying, there is a lot of noise. There is discussion all over the country, there is criticism, everyone is moving, the authorities are looking for a way out, there is a committee of inquiry, the committee of inquiry is submitting a report, making promises and then all is quiet again. Again, when a fire occurs in a place, the cause of the fire is analyzed People are burning from that Nimtali, then Chawkbazar, FR Tower of Banani. The latest Sitakunda.
Incidentally, the fire incidents in Nimtali and Chawkbazar of the capital caused a great commotion all over the country. Gas cylinders exploded in both the places and the fire spread rapidly due to the chemical. An investigation committee was formed after 124 people were killed in the blaze in Nimtali. The inquiry committee made 16 recommendations, including the removal of chemical warehouses. Many years have passed since then, the recommendation has remained on paper. Then Chawkbazar tragedy and Banani tragedy happened. This time too there has been an investigation committee, recommendations of whom are yet to be implemented. If the recommendation is not implemented, then where is the benefit of the people in that recommendation? People just don’t want to see the investigation committee. People want to see if the recommendations of the inquiry committee have been implemented.
Despite the big talk, the Sitakunda incident proved once again how weak we are in disaster management. Fire suits (fire-fighting special clothing) are required to extinguish the fire by going near or inside the fire, but no member of the fire brigade was seen to wear it in Sitakunda. No one seemed to have an idea about the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG Code) code. However, in the case of Sitakunda, the container depot management authority has to be brought to justice first. The containers did not comply with the IMDG code, and hazardous goods were stored there. But these should be kept separate in accordance with the security rules. Those involved in the management of this container depot should be brought to justice. Otherwise, such incidents will happen more in the future.
The next event cannot be prevented just by learning from an event. It is the custom of any civilized society to take precautionary measures after finding out the exact cause of an accident. But we don’t do that. Just as there is no law-abiding practice among the common people in our country, all the authorities are there to force the common man to obey the law. In many cases, they justified all the irregularities by bribing money. As a result, one tragic accident after another keeps happening.
In fact, most of the accidents in our country are due to non-compliance with laws or rules. The Sitakunda incident is also the result of irregularities. We also have to think about the equipment used in firefighting. At the moment, more modernization of fire service system is needed. The first important thing in firefighting is to ensure adequate water. But in most of the major fires in our country, water supply has been limited. Therefore, installation of fire hydrant can be an effective initiative.
It is very important to install fire hydrants (specially pumped water taps used in firefighting) at various risky points in case of need for quick water supply in case of fire. Because, fire hydrant is a connecting source of water, which is connected to the main source of water. The biggest advantage of this is that water can be supplied at any distance with the help of long pipes.
In developed countries, firefighting drones are used to extinguish fires. The advantage of the drone is that it can be controlled by standing down. These drones can fly at altitudes of 300 to 400 meters and can spray water at speeds of up to 100 liters per minute.
Firefighting robots are also used in developed countries. Like small tanks, these firefighting robots can reach very close to the fire they can spray water at a distance of 75 meters or a football field.
Some countries use a mobile wireless remote control device called LUF60 to put out fires. It clears the way by extinguishing the fire up to 1000 feet. In addition, 1,600 liters of water per minute can be thrown at a 360 degree angle. It also has manual control when the power goes out, especially risky work like putting out fire in warehouse or underground can be done easily through this. We have to think about these modern firefighting materials.
The country, which has somehow been run by patchwork, has to be brought back to normalcy with a strong jolt. For this, first of all, the government is the sincere initiative of the government.