- Gas leakage triggered a blast inside a mosque in Narayangaj's Fatullah
- Around 150 people were performing Isha prayer when the blast took place
- So far 18 people have succumbed to their injuries
- Some 20 more people are in critical condition
- PM has asked to ensure best treatment to victims
- Titas MD warns of strict action if Titas negligence found
At least 18 people died and more than 20 others were injured as gas leakage triggered an explosion and six air conditioners exploded inside a mosque during Isha prayer in Narayanganj's Fatullah on Friday night.
"Death toll from the mosque blast has reached to 18," Dr Samanta Lal Sen, coordinator of Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery, confirmed the matter to The Business Standard today.
"The condition of 20 other people with serious burn injuries is critical. We are trying our best," said Dr Samanta.
President Mohammad Abdul Hamid has expressed deep grief over the loss of lives in this tragic incident and wished the injured a quick recovery.
Identities of the victims
Of the 18 deceased, two are siblings named Sabbir, 21, and Zobayer, 18, from Narayanganj's Talla as their parents identified them in Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery. Among the three siblings, Sabbir completed Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Zobayer was an HSC candidate from Ram Degree College of the district.
The mosque's imam Md Delwar Hossain, 45 and his son Jonayed, 16, are also among the death victims. They hailed from Langalcout of Cumilla. Jonayed came to Dhaka to visit his father two days back. He was attending the Isha prayer along with his father in the mosque on the night of the incident.
Another victim Kuddus Bapari, 72, hailed from Hatbukdia village of Munshiganj. He left six children to mourn his death.
Mostafa Kamal, 34, son of Karim Mijir from Chandpur Sadar upazila and Zuel, 7, son of Zulhas Farazi of Narayanganj's Fatullah also fell victim to the poignant incident.
Three garment workers Md Rashed, 30, from Galachipa upazila and Ibrahim Biswas, 43 from Patuakhali and Nayon, 27, from Palashi village of Lalmonirhat died in the explosion.
Another victim Md Jamal Abedin, 40 was a job holder hailed from Kawkhali village of Patuakhali. He was a father of three children.
Narayanganj blast victim Md Rifat, 18, was a student of Narayanganj College and son of Md Answer Hossain of Newkhanpur Bank Colony of the district.
Among other victims, Mainuddin, 12 was a student of class five hailing from Sheikhdi village of Faridpur. Humayan Kabir, 72, from Narayanganj's Pashchim Talla. He was a father of two sons. Jainal, 38 and Kanchan Hawlader, 50 from Fatullah of Narayanganj. The identity of the two other victims could not be known immediately.
Ensure best treatment to victims: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today directed the authorities concerned to ensure the best treatment to the victims, who suffered burn injuries in the explosion.
The premier is also constantly inquiring about the condition of the patients, said a press release of PMO.
She also expressed profound shock and sorrow at the loss of lives in the explosions.
Probe body formed to investigate the explosion
Narayanganj district administration has formed a 5-member committee to investigate the explosion, said District Superintendent of Police (SP) Mohammad Zayedul Alam while visiting the victims at the National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery today.
The committee is comprised of additional district magistrate, additional superintendent of police (Crime), officials from Titas Gas, Power Department and fire service.
He further added, "The bodies of those killed in the fire incident will be handed over to their relatives without autopsy. However, if the family members of the deceased have any objection they can inform to the authorities."
A case filing will be filed under section 304 over the incident, he added.
What we know so far about the tragic incident
Around 150 people were attending the prayer when the incident took place. The explosion, triggered by a gas leak, ripped through the mosque at once bewildering the pilgrims whether the doomsday was there. All six ACs exploded at the same time and glasses of the windows were shattered in the blast.
Mosque committee president Gafur Mia said, "After hearing the sound of the huge explosion, I along with some local people rushed to the mosque. We saw smoke was belching out of the mosque and many people are burnt severely. Some of them were screaming and rolling on the road in front of the mosque."
"We took 40 injured people to Narayanganj hospital. Later doctors there sent the critical patients to Dhaka," he added.
Nazmul Hossain, doctor of Narayanganj 100-bed hospital, said, "People who were injured in the explosion started coming at the hospital after 9pm. Most of them sustained 70-75 percent burns of their bodies. We sent them to Dhaka after primary treatment."
The doctor also added that among the 20-25 severely injured people, some sustained up to 99 percent burns of their bodies.
The injured were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and adjacent Sheikh Hasina Burn Institute from Narayanganj.
Quoting local people, Debashis Bardhan, deputy director (Dhaka division) of Fire Service and Civil Defence, said, "There's a gas line of Titas beneath the mosque. People used to smell gas inside the mosque sometimes. But Titas authorities reportedly did not solve the gas line problem."
However, Titas authorities sent staff to the mosque for maintenance after the incident. The staff claimed that they did not receive any complaint regarding the gas problem inside the mosque prior to the incident.