• Monday, Dec 16, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:15 pm

A terrible blow

  • Published at 12:02 am November 1st, 2019
pictures of the victims
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

We cannot merely mourn their deaths and leave things be

Nothing could be more tragic than the loss of children’s lives. 

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened near the Shialbari slum in Mirpur on Wednesday, when seven children were killed by a gas cylinder explosion, which also left 20 others injured.

To imagine scores of little children, money in hand, laughing one second, only to have their already short lives cut short by a sudden cylinder explosion is a tragedy of the highest order.

We mourn the lives lost and hope that the ones who survived and were injured in the accident are being given the highest level of treatment. 

But we cannot merely mourn their deaths and leave things be.

This was a direct result of a system of negligence and an attitude of indifference, whereby a culture of “anything goes” has allowed danger and risk to become the norm, especially in poorer areas such as this one.

While this current gas explosion has taken the most lives, this is unfortunately not that uncommon in the country.

A snapshot of history of such explosions taking place every other, with more innocent lives lost in the aftermath.

It is not uncommon for balloon sellers -- as with many other professions in the country -- to modify CNG or LPG cylinders and fill them with inflammable gas so that they can use them illegally to then fill the balloons.

Since the Department of Explosives remains aware of this practice and the risks involved, the question remains why there are not more bodies on the job ensuring that such tragedies do not occur. 

And the blame is not on the DoE alone. 

The police had also been notified of such activities in the past but, unfortunately, they had done little to curb the practice. 

We expect the authorities to take this explosion with the utmost seriousness and do everything in their power to ensure people’s safety.