Dhaka, Mar 9 (EFE).- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported on Wednesday that at least one person, a four-year-old child, was killed in a fire at the largest Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, which destroyed at least 400 shelters at the site.
The fire, which broke out on Tuesday, had “fully or partially destroyed some 400 shelters and facilities including two learning centers,” a water distribution network and a primary health center, the UN refugee agency said in a statement.
Apart from the deceased child, another person was admitted to a hospital for smoke inhalation, with his condition declared stable.
The blaze began around 3.30 pm on Tuesday at the Camp 5 in the Kutupalong locality, the assistant director for the fire service in Cox’s Bazar district, Mohammad Abdullah, told EFE
Rescue efforts were now focused on reuniting 26 minors who had got separated from their families during the incident.
This is the sixth fire to hit Rohingya refugee camps since the beginning of the year, with heightened risks due to the structure of the refugee shelters, which have been built with highly inflammable materials such as wood, bamboo and plastic.
“This is a densely populated area. Moreover, the materials used for building the temporary shelters has also made them highly susceptible to fire,” Abdullah said.
On Jan. 9, a fire had damaged nearly 600 shelters and rendered around 2,500 refugees homeless.
On Mar. 22, 2021 a massive fire killed 15 people and destroyed 10,000 shacks, affecting as many as 45,000 refugees, according to UN reports.
Nearly 738,000 Rohingya refugees have been living in temporary camps in Bangladesh due to an exodus that began on Aug. 25, 2017, following a wave of persecution and military crackdown in the neighboring Myanmar that the UN described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and possible genocide. EFE