Five members of a family, including an infant, were seriously burned in a fire caused by leaky gas lines at their flat in Ashulia area of Savar yesterday.
The gas connection to the two-storey building was unauthorised, its owner Abdul Hamid told investigators.
The victims are Arab Ali, 60, his wife Hasina, 50, their son Abdullah, 35, his wife Ripa, 20, and their one and a half year old daughter Ayesha.
Four of the victims are in critical condition with between 32 and 96 percent deep burns, said Partha Shankar Paul, resident surgeon of burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Firefighters believe that the fire was caused by a leaky gas line, said Abdul Hamid, senior officer of DEPZ Fire Station.
Police have detained the building owner, said Rezaul Haque, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station.
The fire broke out on the ground floor of the building in Manikganjpara around 7:00am when someone attempted to light a gas stove.
Mukta Begum, a resident of the neighbourhood, said she heard a loud bang and then saw the entire flat on fire.
“The victims were screaming for help. We rushed them to a local hospital,” she said.
The doors, windows and most of the things in the flat were damaged.
Several residents of the building alleged that gas pipes used illegally by their landlord were of bad quality.
Before he was detained by police, Abdul Hamid, the building owner, told reporters that he paid “a group of people” hefty sums for the unauthorised gas connection.
According to Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, 4,236 incidents of fire from stoves took place last year, which accounts for 23.40 percent of the total incidents.
Six residents of a building in the capital's Uttarkhan died of burn injuries after leaky gas pipes caused a fire in a kitchen on October 13.
Earlier this year, four students of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology died of burn injuries in a similar incident in Mymensingh.