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Dhaka Tribune

Multiple inquiries opened into Narayanganj fatal fire

The Narayanganj district administration, fire service, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, and Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) have formed separate probe committees

Update : 05 Sep 2020, 11:01 PM

Four separate probe committees have been formed to investigate the air conditioner blast at a mosque in Fatullah, Narayanganj, on Friday night that has left 20 people dead so far.

The Narayanganj district administration, fire service, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, and Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) formed their separate probe committees to investigate the deadliest air conditioner blast in the country for decades.

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

District committee

The Narayanganj district administration formed a five-member probe committee to investigate the incident of the AC blast at the Baitul Salah Jame Mosque in Sadar upazila.

“A five-member investigation committee has been formed. We will submit the report within five working days,” said Narayanganj Deputy Commissioner Jasim Uddin.

The families of the deceased were given Tk20,000 each for burial arrangements and the injured were given Tk10,000 for their medical treatment, he added. The committee also visited the scene in the morning on Saturday.

Fire service committee

The fire service also opened an inquiry into the incident. A committee led by Director (Ops) Lt Col Zillur Rahman has been formed to look into it.

A member of the probe committee, Deputy Director (Ops) Nur Hasan, said: "Initial investigation has confirmed that the incident took place due to a gas leakage. Originally there was load shedding before the incident. The whole mosque was filled with gas due to the gas leakage. The incident took place when the AC exploded from a spark set off by the sudden power outage.”

Titas committee

The Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd has also formed a five-member committee to investigate whether a gas leakage in the pipelines caused the fire and led to the subsequent AC blasts at the mosque in Narayanganj.

Confirming the information, Narayanganj Deputy General Manager (DGM) of the company Mofizul Islam said the committee would submit the report within five working days.

DPDC committee

A four-member investigation committee was formed on Saturday afternoon. 

The committee will have to file the inquiry report within five working days.

Also Read - Narayanganj mosque fire deaths rise to 21

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 Isha prayers were about to end. 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 Victoria Hospital in Narayanganj and to the institute in Dhaka.

Narayanganj Fire Service Deputy Assistant Director Abdullah Al Arefin said it seemed all six air conditioners on the ground floor of the mosque had 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 from the gas pipeline.

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