Sixteen people of a family, including three children, sustained burn injuries after an explosion in a microbus on Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar highway at Patiya upazila of Chattogram on Monday night.
The incident took place near Patiya bus stand around 10:30pm, shortly after the microbus refuelled on its way to Chandanish from the port city, said relatives of the victims.
Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohammed Alauddin of Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) Police Outpost told The Daily Star, “Some 16 injured were admitted to CMCH Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit around midnight.”
“Seeing off my nephew at Shah Amanat International Airport, they were coming to Chandanish,” Shahidul Alam, a relative of the victims, told this paper at CMCH.
“The driver of the microbus refilled the CNG cylinder after arriving at Patiya upazila, and shortly after, the passengers complained to the driver that it was getting hot inside the vehicle,” said Shahidul.
Tofayel, another relative, said, “The passengers told us fire suddenly came from the AC’s chambers, soon after refilling the gas cylinder.”
“We have taken four of our relatives to Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s burnt unit from CMCH,” Tofayel added.
Shahidul added that the driver of the microbus could not be found since the incident.
Ripon Kumar Malakar, sub-officer of Patiya Fire Service Station, told this correspondent, “We found nine people at the spot, rescued them and sent them to the hospital. Observing the microbus, it seems that the explosion was caused by a cylinder blast.”
Akhtar Hosen, SI of Patiya Police Station, however, said, “They were burnt due to the AC compressor blast. If the gas cylinder exploded, the victims would have died.”
After the incident, police drove the microbus from the spot and parked it on Patiya Police Station premises, he said.