A big fire at a camp for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh destroyed homes and sent thick black clouds of smoke through the area on Sunday before being brought under control.
The blaze erupted at Camp 11 in Cox’s Bazar, a southeastern border district where more than a million Rohingya refugees live. Most of the refugees fled a military-led crackdown in Myanmar in 2017, and the fire left some of them homeless again.
“We currently don’t have an estimate for damages but there are no reports of casualties,” Rafiqul Islam, additional police superintendent at Cox’s Bazar told Reuters.
He added that the blaze was under control and senior officials from the fire, police, and refugee relief departments were at the site. Faruque Ahmed, a local police official, said the cause of the fire was not clear.
Neither police official gave an estimate for the number of homes destroyed.
“I couldn’t save anything. Everything burnt to ashes. Many are without homes. I don’t know what will happen to us,” said 40-year-old refugee Selim Ullah, a father of six children.
“When we were in Myanmar we faced lots of problems… our houses were burned down, he said. “Now it has happened again.”
The refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar are prone to such blazes. A massive fire in March 2021 killed at least 15 refugees and destroyed over 10,000 homes.
Copyright 2023 Thomson/Reuters