Since the fire broke out at a container depot in Chattogram's Sitakunda on Saturday night, at least 49 people were killed and more than 200, including cops and fire service officials, have been reported injured.
Hydrogen Peroxide has been noted as the primary reason why it is taking the fire units so long to douse the blaze.
Speaking to depot workers, it was found that there is a tin shed area of 500 metres inside the depot. Hydrogen Peroxide was stored under the shed.
Hydrogen Peroxide produced at Al-Razi Chemical Complex, Thandachhari, Hathazari had been kept in this depot for export.
So, here is everything you need to know about the chemical and its correlations with the blaze at the depot.
How hazardous is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen Peroxide is known to be a powerful oxidising agent. If it comes into contact with certain organic compounds, explosive vapours can form.
Although the general property of Hydrogen Peroxide is not immediate flammability, it does generate significant amounts of oxygen when it begins to decompose which might in turn, trigger or support combustion.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide Flammable?
Hydrogen Peroxide is a chemical that has many common uses.
Like most chemicals, it is important to understand how it behaves to beware of any risks or hazards it may cause.
People commonly ask if the chemical can easily set on fire and whether or not it will burn when exposed to flame or other ignition sources.
Good news is Hydrogen Peroxide is not a flammable substance, however, it can cause a fire to intensify in some cases.
Though it will not technically fuel a fire, it can be a fire hazard when combined with other substances.
Can Hydrogen Peroxide start a fire?
The decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide liberates oxygen and heat; this can be dangerous, as spilling high-concentration Hydrogen Peroxide on a flammable substance can cause an immediate fire.
Can Hydrogen Peroxide explode in heat?
Heating Hydrogen Peroxide causes it to lose stability and decompose into both oxygen and water, the oxygen released is exothermic decomposition which can combust if it mixes with fire. Heating Hydrogen Peroxide with flames can therefore cause an explosion when the exothermic release of oxygen occurs.
What to do in case of fire hazards?
Hydrogen Peroxide is not combustible but it is a strong oxidizer which enhances the combustion of other substances.
If the chemical is present in a fire explosion, flood with water to extinguish fire.
It is recommended not to use dry chemical extinguishing agents as poisonous gases are produced in fire.
Containers may explode in fire. So, water spray can be used to keep fire-exposed containers cool.
Hydrogen Peroxide may ignite combustibles (wood, paper, oil).