The Baitus Salat Jame Mosque building in Narayanganj's West Talla area – where a series of explosions triggered a fire on Friday night, causing the deaths of 27 people so far – was constructed without any approval of the authorities concerned. The mosque committee did not even take any subsequent clearance.
This was revealed by the probe body formed by the Fire Service and Civil Defense.
Meanwhile, according to the probe body formed by the Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC), air conditioners on the mosque's ground floor were running on an illegal electricity connection at the time of the accident.
At 8:17 pm on Friday, the power connection in the West Talla area was cut off due to repair on the power distribution line. However, the lights of the mosque were on and the ACs were also running during Isha prayer.
Nur Hasan, deputy assistant director of the Fire Service, said the DPDC was not supplying electricity to the West Talla area at that time. "When the muazzin went to switch on the substitute line, an explosion occurred in the room that was filled with gas that had leaked out of the pipeline," he added.
"Employees of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd are also responsible for the explosion as they neglected the issue after repeated appeals to fix the problem," said a member of another probe panel formed by the Narayanganj District Administration.
However, Abdul Gafur, president of the mosque committee, claimed that they had taken verbal permission for the substitute line.
He also said there were two electricity meters for the two lines. However, the investigators found only one meter in the mosque.
They said the line that was drawn illegally was flawed.
Meanwhile, eight employees of Titas Gas Ltd have been suspended over the blast for alleged negligence that led to the explosion, Md Ali Mohammad Al-Mamun, managing director of Titas Gas told The Business Standard on Monday.
The employees include Titas Gas' Fatullah office manager, deputy manager and two assistant engineers. They have also been served show-cause notices over the incident, he added.
State Minister of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid directed the gas distribution companies to remove illegal gas lines from their respective distribution areas.
Nasrul Hamid gave this directive on Monday while discussing the activities of the six distribution companies.
He also directed the distribution companies not to give new gas connections in areas built in an unplanned manner.
Friday's explosion has so far caused the deaths of at least 27 out of 36 people who were burnt. Of the remaining nine injured, four are in critical condition.
Around 150 people were attending Isha prayer when the fire broke out.