A container terminal in Bangladesh suffered an explosion and a massive fire. This tragedy claimed more than 50 human lives. About 300 people were wounded. This is practically the second largest tragedy after the explosion of ammonium nitrate in Beirut, where the tragedy claimed the lives of more than 200 people and led to huge destruction.
The suspected cause of the severe spread of the fire is the improper storage and handling of hydrogen peroxide (? 2014 and ? 2015 according to the classification of the UN Model Regulations). As the temperature rises, hydrogen peroxide can release copious amounts of oxygen, which contributes to the spread of the fire.
Various flammable and other types of dangerous substances were stored in containers at the terminal. It can also be assumed that those responsible for the safe handling of dangerous goods in both Beirut and Bangladesh were not properly trained and were unable to assess the risk of possible explosions and fires in certain situations.
There can be many reasons for the fire and explosion; this will be determined by the investigation. But we can safely say that when handling dangerous goods, attention should be paid to many aspects, such as the correct stowage of cargo in a container, cargo compatibility, choosing the right packaging, temperature conditions, the distance between containers when they are placed at the terminal and following the recommendations prescribed by international organizations and, first of all, the International Maritime Organization.
The International Dangerous Goods and Containers Association expresses its condolences to the families of the dead and injured.
It can be assumed that the world community will again take additional security measures when working with dangerous goods and develop additional tools.