At least 15 people have been killed in a massive fire that ripped through a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, while 400 remain missing, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.
“It is massive, it is devastating,” said the UNHCR’s Johannes van der Klaauw, who joined a Geneva briefing virtually from Dhaka, Bangladesh. “We still have 400 people unaccounted for, maybe somewhere in the rubble,” he said, Reuters reported.
He added that the UNHCR has reports of 560 people injured and 45,000 people displaced.
Officials said the latest blaze appeared to have started on Monday in one of the 34 camps – which span about 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares) of land – before spreading to three other camps, with refugees fleeing the shanties with whatever belongings they could carry, Aljazeera reported.
Thick columns of smoke could be seen billowing from blazing shanties in a video shared on social media, as hundreds of firefighters and aid workers battled the flames and pulled refugees to safety.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control around midnight.