Moghbazar explosion: Fire service DG primarily suspecting gas leakage
At least six people were killed and 50 others were injured in an explosion in Dhaka's Moghbazar this evening.
Dhaka Metrpolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Shafiqul Islam said at least seven people were killed in the explosion. The commissioner further said they did not find any evidence to suspect it was an incident of sabotage and said it is likely to have taken place due to a gas leakage.
Sazzadur Rahman, deputy commissioner (Ramna Division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, later revised the number of dead to six people around 11:30pm.
Brig Gen Md Sazzad Hussain, director general of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, said they are primarily suspecting that the explosion took place due to accumulation of gas.
"We are measuring the presence of gas in the building," said the DG, while addressing reporters at the spot.
"The explosion took place around 7:35pm at a building in Wireless Gate area," Faisalur Rahman, station officer of Ramna Fire Station said.
He further said they have formed a four-member probe body, headed by director of operations of the fire service, to investigate the incident. The committee will submit its report with seven working days, he said.
"We may be able to say clearly what actually happened here after the investigation," said the DG.
Asked about illegal gas connections, DG Sazzad Hussain said there was a restaurant in the ground floor of the building and it had a gas connection.
"We can only say clearly about the legality of the connection legality after the investigation," he said.
Besides, construction work was taking place on the street just in front of the building and there is a gas pipeline there, said the fire DG, adding, "We will also check the gas line on the street to see whether any gas leakage took place due to construction work."
An official of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company said a team is working on the site to check whether there were any illegal connections in the building.
"We may be able to say clearly after the end of the inspection," said the official, requesting anonymity.
Fourteen firefighting units were conducting rescue operations when this the report was filed around 9:45pm.
At least 41 of the injured have been rushed to emergency unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital while 11 others were admitted to Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery with burn injuries.
Eyewitness and fire service officials said they are suspecting that the explosion took place from the ground floor of a building that had an electronics showroom, a meat sales outlet, a restaurant and a sweetmeat shop.
The shops were completely damaged and were reduced to debris following the explosion which may have originated after gas accumulated in the electronics showroom or the meat sales outlet, said officials.
Sheikh Abdul Jalil, an eyewitness said a big bang took place on the ground floor. At least three buses outside on the road were damaged and glasses of several other nearby buildings were damaged after the explosion.
On information, a team of bomb disposal unit (BDU) was sent to the spot.
"We are analysing the nature of explosion as the ground floor of the building was destroyed," said Rahmatullah Chowdhury, in-charge of BDU.
Md Imon, a local youth, who is part of the rescue operation, said that he and his friends brought out at least three people including a 12-year-old boy from the wreckage. "We suspect that some other people are trapped inside the debris," he said.