Fire and Explosion Yangon, Myanmar - January 2012

Funds allocated:
US$ 25 000

Affected population:
226 families

The emergency

A fire broke out in Mingalar Taungnyunt township in Yangon on 29 December 2011 in which 17 people were killed, 83 injured, leaving 140 households homeless and engulfing 16 warehouses, destroying four fire engines, houses and two monasteries. Five of the dead and 33 of the injured were fire fighters. The fire started at 1:40 am at a warehouse which stored electronic goods and spread to an adjacent warehouse which stored herbal medicines. An explosion occurred due to chemical reaction of the herbal materials destroying four fire engines. The explosion left a 15-foot deep and 40-foot wide crater. The injured (65 men and 18 women) were brought to Yangon General Hospital where they were treated at the orthopaedic / trauma ward, surgical ward, neurosurgical ward and intensive care unit. The Vice-President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Dr Sai Mauk Kham, on 1 January 2012, inspected the site of the accident and comforted the victims at the relief camp and injured patients at the hospital He presented cash assistance to the fire victims at the relief camp and at Yangon General Hospital.

How it made a difference

Provision of effective treatment of 83 injured persons was made to alleviate their suffering from the various traumatic injuries that they had received. Yangon General Hospital was strengthened / equipped to respond to mass casualty management. The fund was used to procure essential medicines / antibiotics / infusions / bandages / POP to effectively treat the injured patients.

Outcome of assistance from SEARHEF
• Prompt diagnosis and treatment of the injured and burn victims.
• Supported the improved mass casualty management of the Yangon General Hospital.