Nurul Akter is the deputy general manager (operations) of the BM Container Depot.

SM Rashidul Haque, the superintendent of Chattogram police (SP), told Prothom Alo that Nurul was in charge of the depot and so has been accused in the case for negligence in discharging duty. The responsible ones would be identified after investigation.

But Nurul Akter's family claimed that Nurul Akter was at the forefront in the rescue operation during the fire. He used a megaphone to instruct the inquisitive crowds to stay away from the containers to avoid further casualties. At one stage, he sustained critical injuries when the chemical-filled containers exploded.

During a visit to a private hospital in Chattogram on Friday afternoon, he was found groaning with his left hand amputated and ribs broken. He could not speak due to the suffering.

Family members said he was first taken to Chittagong Medical College Hospital after the rescue and later to the private hospital.

The container depot caught fire on Saturday and it took nearly three days for the firefighters to bring the flames under control. Police filed a case with the Sitakunda Police Station three days after the incident, where Nurul has been made the prime accused.

In a conversation with Prothom Alo, his son Yasir Anwar said his father has been working at the depot as deputy general manager since 2012. They are from Gasua of Sandwip upazila in Chattogram and have been residing at Halishahar area of the port city. Among his four siblings, Yasir Asaduzzaman also joined the depot, but was absent there on the day of fire.

Yasir Anwar also said his father was home when the fire broke out at the depot. On hearing about the fire, his father rushed to the spot. They received a phone call at the dead of that night and were informed that his father had been admitted to the CMCH after being injured in the fire.

Yasir also said that his father was busy extinguishing the flames when an explosion occurred there, injuring him and many others.

Nurul sustained injuries, but did not lose his senses. He somehow managed to leave the spot with some others and was taken to hospital.

Yasir said they came to know about the case through media reports, but are yet to have any discussion with the authorities.

“Mother has been depressed ever since she heard that father was accused in the case,” Yasir added.

The death tally from the depot fire has been estimated at 46 while 26 of them have so far been identified. Besides, more than 200 people sustained injuries in the fire.

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