The authorities in Bangladesh searched for survivors on Tuesday amid the smoldering ruins of a sprawling Rohingya refugee camp, one day after a fire killed at least 15 people, injured hundreds and left tens of thousands homeless once again.
The carnage at the camp in Cox’s Bazaar, near the border with Myanmar, was the latest tragedy for residents, who have lived for years in its squalid shanties since fleeing their homes in Myanmar in aftermath of a military-perpetrated massacre.
As many as 400 people are missing and many are presumed dead, according to officials at the Inter Sector Coordination Group, an international relief organization that oversees the camp. Some victims, witnesses said, were caught between the blaze and the camp’s barbed-wire perimeter fences.
committee would investigate the fire and submit a report in the coming days.
But for many Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority, the blaze is another reminder of the international community’s failure to ensure their safety.
“Everything we owned is now ash,” said Ro Anamul Hasan, whose shelter was completely burned down. “This is the second time I lost everything in my life.”
Some of the nearly 100,000 displaced people have sought shelter in nearby camps. Others were seen trying to rebuild shelter amid the ashes of their dwellings, using whatever they could find — bamboo, scraps of plastic and polyethylene sheets.
Julfikar Ali Manik contributed reporting.