15 dead, 400 missing in Rohingya camp fire: UN

At least 15 people have been killed in a massive fire that ripped through a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.

The U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday (March 23) at least 400 are still missing.

The deadly fire spread over four sections of the camp - home to roughly 124,000 people, according to the head of the Red Cross in Bangladesh.

He said over 17,000 shelters had been destroyed and tens of thousands of people displaced.

Tomson Phiri is a spokesperson for the World Food Programme:

"Our front-line staff in the camp reported horrific scenes of devastation, destruction, and despair. I was just in the phone with one of them, moments ago, and she just said ‘imagine losing everything when you were forced from your home just three years ago, only to lose it all over again, and the pain of watching helplessly as your prized – and only - possessions go up in flames.”

Some witnesses said that barbed wire fencing around the camp hurt and trapped many people, prompting humanitarian agencies to call for its removal.

This woman says she's lost her family:

"I can't find my children or even my husband. My child is called Mamun and the other is Rubiya, my husband's name is Anu Maji"

The vast majority of the camp's inhabitants fled Myanmar in 2017 during a brutal military crackdown on the Rohingya people that U.N. investigators said was executed with "genocidal intent".

Myanmar denies these charges.

Bangladeshi officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

In the meantime, officials, aid workers, and families are sifting through the debris and searching for further victims.