17 killed, 20 injured as six air-conditioners explode in Bangladesh mosque
A gas leak in an underground pipeline caused six air conditioners to explode almost simultaneously in a mosque during Friday evening prayers on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, killing 17 people, including a child, and injuring 20 others.
Worshippers were at Friday evening prayers when the blast sent a ball of flames through the Baitul Salat mosque in the central district of Narayanganj, officials said.
At least 17 people including a seven-year old boy, succumbed to their injuries at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgeryhere, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
About 20 victims are undergoing treatment at the hospital and are stated to be in critical condition.
Fire officials suspect accumulated gas from a leaked pipeline triggered a spark and all six air conditioners on the ground floor of the mosque exploded.
“A gas pipeline passes beneath the mosque. We are suspecting that gas leaked from the pipeline and accumulated inside as the windows were closed. The explosion was probably triggered due to sparks when someone tried to switch on or off the ACs or fans,” Narayanganj Fire Service’s Deputy Assistant Director Abdullah Al Arefin was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
According to reports, the mosque committee had recently filed a complaint over leakage of the gas pipeline of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited.
Narayanganj Fire Service and police have already initiated investigation into the blast while the company formed another probe body to look into the incident.
Narayanganj Superintendent of Police (SP) Md Zayedul Alam visited the victims at the institute and said action will be taken if they found evidence of negligence against anyone in its inquiry.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed concern over the incident and issued directions to ensure all possible medical care for the victims.
Witnesses said they found five to six people coming out of the mosque as soon as the blast occurred. Worshipers, most of them severely burnt, were found lying on the floor, according to them, the report said.