• Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Narayanganj mosque fire deaths rise to 21

  • Published at 03:16 am September 5th, 2020
File photo: Relatives of victims mourn at a hospital, after a gas pipeline blast at a mosque in Narayanganj, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, September 5, 2020 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

More than 15 others are still undergoing treatment at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery in Dhaka

A total of 21 people, including a child, have died from burn injuries sustained in an air conditioner explosion during prayers at a mosque in Narayanganj.

More than 15 other people are still being treated at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery in Dhaka. 

Those who are undergoing treatment are in critical condition, said Dr Partha Shangkar Paul, a resident doctor at the institute. 

A person
laments the loss of his loved ones at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery premises in Dhaka on Saturday, September 5, 2020 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The deceased are the mosque’s Imam Adbul Malek, 55, its Muezzin Delwar Hossain, 45, and Delwar's son Junayed, 16, Jewel, 7, Mainuddin, 12, Joynal, 38, Md Jamal Abedin, 40, Sabbir, 21, and his younger brother Jubayer, 18,  Humayun Kabir, 72, Kuddus Bepari, 72, Ibrahim Biswas, 43, Mostofa Kamal, 34, Md Rifat, 18, Md Rashed, 30, Nayan, 27, Kanchan Hawlader, 50, Md Bahauddin, 55, Rasel, 34, Md Nizam, 40, and , Nadim, 45.

Also Read - Multiple inquiries opened into Narayanganj fatal fire

So far, 16 bodies have been handed over to their relatives, officials said.

Upon the request of the relatives the dead bodies were handed over after identification without autopsy.

Dozens of people were injured in the blast that took place around 9pm on Friday at the Baitus Salah Jame Mosque located in West Tolla area in the Sadar upazila's Fatullah neighbourhood.

According to the local police, the blast occurred when the Isha prayers were about to end.

Relatives lament the loss of their loved ones at Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery premises in Dhaka on Saturday, September 5, 2020 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Narayanganj Fire Service and police have already initiated investigation into the blast while Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited formed another probe body to look into the incident.

Ali Mohd Al-Mamun, managing director of the company, confirmed the matter.

Also Read - Narayanganj mosque blast: Families at sea as bread earners die

On Saturday, Narayanganj Superintendent of Police (SP) Md Zayedul Alam visited the victims at the institute and said action will be taken if they found evidence of negligence against anyone in its inquiry.

Besides, the bodies will be handed over to the families without any autopsy if they want, he added.

In the meantime, family members and relatives of the victims have gathered outside the institute and are waiting anxiously to know the condition of their near and dear ones.

About the incident, witnesses said they found five to six people coming out of the mosque as soon as the blast occurred. Worshippers, most of them severely burnt, were found lying on the floor, according to them.

Locals rushed most of the victims to the Victoria Hospital in Narayanganj and to the institute in Dhaka.

Narayanganj Fire Service's Deputy Assistant Director Abdullah Al Arefin said it seems all six air conditioners on the ground floor of the mosque exploded.

"A pipeline of Titas Gas passes beneath the mosque. We are suspecting that gas had leaked from the pipeline and accumulated inside as the windows were closed. The explosion was probably triggered due to sparks when someone tried to switch the ACs or fans on or off." 

Abu Talha, who lives in the same neighbourhood, told Dhaka Tribune that the mosque committee had recently filed a complaint over leakage of the gas pipeline.

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