Blast at Narayanganj mosque: Everything burnt, gas connection turned off

Debris inside the Baitus Salam Jam-e-Masjid in Paschim Talla area in Narayanganj on 5 September 2020
Debris inside the Baitus Salam Jam-e-Masjid in Paschim Talla area in Narayanganj on 5 September 2020Prothom Alo
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Almost everything was burnt and strewn around inside the Baitus Salam Jam-e-Masjid in Paschim Talla area in Narayanganj on Saturday morning. There was a huge explosion at the mosque on Friday night, injuring around 50 people and scorching six air-conditioners, tiles, sliding glass doors, windows, electric fans and panels.

Police and fire service department men on Saturday morning visited the four-storey mosque that was built around 25-30 years ago.

Local people alleged that since the explosion, the authorities had turned off the gas connections in areas around Paschim Talla. They were having difficulty in cooking.

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Monir Hossain, a local trader, said the gas connections had been turned off from midnight. Jahangir Hossain of the local bakery said many people like him had to buy breakfast from outside. Sonia Nizam, a housewife, said she was arranging to cook with firewood.

Samanta Lal Sen, consultant physician at the burn institute, on Saturday morning told newspersons that most of the victims sustained 60-70 per cent burn injuries

Speaking to Prothom Alo, deputy general manager of the Narayanganj office of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, Mofizul Islam, said one of their teams has been working in the area upon receiving complaints of leakage in the gas pipeline.

He said they have decreased the pressure of gas in the area to avoid any accidents.

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Regarding the local people’s complaints of the gas connections being turned off, he said, “We’re looking into this.”

In the Friday night blast which took place during Esha prayers, around 50 people sustained burn injuries. Among them, 37 were admitted to the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). So far, 11 have succumbed to their injuries.

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Samanta Lal Sen, consultant physician at the burn institute, on Saturday morning told newspersons that most of the victims sustained 60-70 per cent burn injuries.

“Most of them are in critical condition,” he added.

Three probe bodies formed

The district administration, fire service department and Titas Gas have constituted three different bodies to investigate the explosion at the Baitus Salam Jaam-e-Masjid in Paschim Talla area in Narayanganj.

Narayanganj deputy commissioner Jasim Uddin told Prothom Alo on Saturday that a five-member committee, led by additional deputy commissioner Khadija Taheri Boby, has been formed. The committee was asked to submit its report within five working days.

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The district administration will provide Tk 20,000 for burial of the dead and Tk 10,000 for treatment of the injured, he added.

The fire service department has formed a four-member committee to be led by its director (operations) lieutenant colonel Zillur Rahman. Other members of the committee are -- Dhaka fire service deputy director Debashish Barman, deputy director (operations) Nur Hasan and fire service and civil defence deputy assistant director Abdullah Arefin. The committee has been asked to submit its report within 10 days.

Deputy assistant director of the fire service department’s Narayanganj office, Abdullah Arefin, confirmed this to Prothom Alo.

Titas Gas has formed a five-member committee with its Dhaka office general manager (planning) Abdul Wahab Talukder as convener.

The committee was asked to submit its report within five days, said Titas Gas’ Narayanganj office deputy general manager Mofizul Islam.

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