Death toll from Sunday’s tragic incident rises to eight
Rescue workers have recovered another body from the rubble of a building in Dhaka’s Moghbazar area, which had partially collapsed following a massive explosion on Sunday.
The body of the three-storey building’s caretaker Harunur Rashid was found at around 3:30pm on Tuesday, said Fire Service and Civil Defence Deputy Director (Operations and Maintenance) Debashish Bardhan.
He said a search was carried out under the debris on a priority basis as Harunur’s daughter had informed the rescue team that her father had been missing since the explosion.
The body was later sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for an autopsy, he added.
The police have filed a case over the explosion.
SI Rezaul Karim filed the case early on Tuesday against several unidentified persons for causing death by negligence, said Ramna Model police station OC Monirul Islam.
The unknown individuals could be anyone connected to the building, including its owner, tenants or utility people, he said.
“Any one of them could have left open the sewage pipe in front of the building, causing gas to build up, which may have led to the explosion,” the OC added.
"After finishing our investigation, we will be able to ascertain who was negligent and accelerated the explosion and charge them afterwards,” the OC added.
Section 304A of the Penal Code, which deals with death by negligence, states: “Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.”
“The case statement says six people have died so far [in the explosion] ... We learned about the seventh deceased after the case was lodged. We have yet to receive the documents regarding his death,” OC Monirul said.
The body of the caretaker, the eighth deceased, was recovered later in the day.
The Police Headquarters, in a media statement on Monday, said it had formed a seven-member committee to investigate the blast.
It said that the panel would investigate the explosion and recommend steps to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
It would also coordinate with the five-member committee formed by the Fire Service and Civil Defence to probe the incident, the statement added.
Both the committees were given seven business days to submit their findings.
DSCC declares damaged building risky
The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) engineering department has declared “risky” the three-storey building wrecked in Sunday’s deadly explosion in Moghbazar.
DSCC Assistant Engineer (area 1) Md Ahsan Habib on Tuesday said: "We have decided to declare the building risky following the recommendation of a DSCC committee led by our chief engineer.”
The city corporation will send a letter to the owner of the building in this regard soon.
“We will provide instructions on when and how the owner can start demolishing the establishment,” he added.
If the owner does not or is unable to comply with the instructions, the city corporation will take charge of the demolition.
“The damaged building has become a hazard for nearby establishments, so it must be demolished,” the DSCC official said.
Very little headway
Investigators have yet to make any breakthrough in identifying the cause of the explosion even after site visits by different agencies over the past two days.
Eight people died and more than 50 others sustained injuries after the powerful explosion ripped through the building on 79 Outer Circular Road near Moghbazar Wireless Gate on Sunday evening.
Multiple vehicles and adjacent buildings were damaged by the blast as well.
Most of the injured, four of whom are in critical condition, are currently undergoing treatment at DMCH.