Bangladesh Fire Service has deployed fire-fighting hi-tech robots for the first time to extinguish the massive Sitakunda fire.
A team of experts from Dhaka named "Hazmat" used the machines experimentally on Monday (6 June).
Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence force Director General (DG) Brig Gen Main Uddin said, "We use hi-tech robots for the first time on Sunday to control the Sitakunda fire. We have two robots and a special drone for surveillance. The automatic machine can spray up to 300 metres."
Fire service sources said, the government started planning to purchase "LUF60" firefighting robots in 2017. The plan of buying six LUF 60 was underway in 2019.
Due to the pandemic, the procurement process was delayed.
Currently, Bangladesh has two LUF 60 robots, which were added to the fire service six months ago, a fire service insider said wishing anonymity.
According to the website of the Austrian manufacturer, LUF 60 can spray water up to 300 metres and a "water beam" fog to clear the smoke, heat, and toxic gases and reduce the intensity of the fire. It can spray 2,400 litres of water per minute from the device.
On 4 June night, a massive explosion took place at BM Container Depot in Sitakunda. Over 43 people, including nine members of the fire service, were killed in the incident.
According to sources, at least three firefighters are still missing. Hundreds of people have been burnt and are being treated at various hospitals in Dhaka and Chattogram.