35 children hurt as helium cylinder explodes
Thirty-five children were among some 40 injured when a helium cylinder, used to inflate balloons, exploded in Cumilla's Nangalkot upazila yesterday afternoon.
Six of the children were in critical state, said Dr Sajeda Khatun, deputy director of Cumilla Medical College Hospital (CMCH).
She said around 30 were brought to the hospital as of 12:15am today.
The other injured were admitted to Nangalkot Upazila Health Complex.
Fazilatunnesa, a witness, said her neighbour Anwar was inflating and selling balloons near his house ahead of a fair set to start at Hasanpur today.
"After Asr prayers, I heard a bang and found my daughter Habiba and 30-40 others injured."
Farukh Hossain, officer-in-charge of Nangalkot Police Station, said they were yet to ascertain the cause of the blast.
He said there was no permission for the fair amid the coronavirus pandemic and that a team may be formed to investigate the incident.
According to CMCH records, the admitted patients are Riya Moni, 5, Samrat, 9, Nishu, 10, Nasir, 12, Saiful Islam, 12, Shah Alam, 55, Sahamuk Hasan, Anwar, 35, Abdur Rob, 27, Sakib, 15, Rubi, 10, Moriyom, Nayeem, 15, Popi, 10, Basir, 13, Emon, 16, Selina 50, Sabuj, Ummey Habiba, 11, Sabuj, 18 -- all from the upazila's Biroli village.
Anwar's younger sister Farhana said Anwar, his two daughters Asnan and Moriyom, his sister Nasrin, nephew Nazmul and niece Nusrat were all admitted to CMCH.
Mokara Union Parishad Chairman Md Saifuddin visited the hospital and promised to bear the medical costs.