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‘Titas was told countless times about the gas pipe, they didn't care’

  • Published at 02:53 pm September 7th, 2020
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Coffins of victims are seen at a hospital, after a gas pipeline blast at a mosque in Narayanganj, near Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 5, 2020 Reuters

Titas identifies gas pipe leak two days after the explosion which has killed 27 so far

Titas was informed numerous times about the gas pipe but they did not pay any heed to it, claimed Shahjalal, son of Hannan Mia who was gravely injured in the explosion that occurred at a Narayanganj mosque on Friday.

“So many people have died due to their [Titas Gas] negligence; no one knows how many will survive in the end,” Shahjalal lamented to Bangla Tribune.

Two days after the incident, Titas authorities began digging to identify gas pipe leaks at 10am on Monday, and finally identified the leak around 2pm.

There are two pipes — the new gas pipe passing by the mosque is three inches in diameter and the old one is one inch, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd Narayanganj Zone authorities informed Dhaka Tribune.

It is yet to be confirmed which pipe was identified as faulty.

Also Read- Narayanganj mosque fire death toll rises to 27

Hannan, 50, sustained burn injuries in the blast and is currently undergoing treatment at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery, reports Bangla Tribune.

Around 85% of his body has been burnt including his windpipe. On top of that, he is diabetic; doctors are having to keep an eye out for that too. 

His son Shahjalal told Bangla Tribune: “Our home is near the mosque. People in the area have repeatedly told Titas about the gas problem in the mosque but they didn’t care.

“Locals went to the company numerous times and told them about the problem. But nothing was done about it.”

At least 40 people sustained burn injuries in an air conditioner explosion during prayers at a mosque in Narayanganj Sadar upazila’s Fatullah neighbourhood around 9pm on Friday.

As many as 37 people were taken to the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery. So far, a total of 27 people, including a child, have died from burn injuries sustained during the blast, while others are undergoing treatment. 

The institute’s Adviser Dr Samonto Lal Sen told Bangla Tribune: “Six of them are in the ICU. No one undergoing treatment is out of danger; everyone’s windpipe is burnt.”

Also Read- Eight Titas Gas staffers suspended over Naryanganj mosque blast

Doctors of the institute have also raised questions about such an explosion from ACs. 

Its Assistant Director Dr Hussain Imam told Bangla Tribune: “ACs are installed above so the blow should hit the mouth of a person. That’s why everyone’s windpipe was burnt — I can accept that.

“But how did everyone's hands and feet get burnt? Legs are below, an AC’s blow is not supposed to go that far down.”

Additional reporting by Shamima Rita, Narayanganj