Two people were killed and another was critically injured following an explosion inside a manhole in the capital's Jatrabari last night.
The dead are Lutfar Rahman, 45, a cattle trader, and Sujon, 20, a worker at a nearby scrap metal shop that caught fire after the blast.
With around 80 percent of his body burnt, Abul Hossain, 25, another worker at the shop, was being treated at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said sources at the hospital.
There was a loud bang around 8:10pm when Lutfar was smoking sitting on the manhole lid near a cattle market, said Saleh Uddin, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence, quoting witnesses.
Lutfar was hit by the lid. He died on the spot. The nearby scrap metal shop also caught fire, killing Sujon instantly and leaving Abul seriously injured.
On being informed, firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the flames.
The fire official suspected gas had accumulated inside the manhole and the explosion took place after the gas came in contact with fire.
“The fire engulfed the entire shop in no time. I tried to escape but failed,” a relative of Abul quoted him as saying to doctors.
Anisur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Jatrabari Police Station, said they were investigating the incident. “A case was being filed.”