Closed factories caused gas overflow in Dhaka: Ministry of energy

Residents of different localities in Dhaka could smell gas in the air on Monday night and panic quickly spread throughout the city. A little after midnight, the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources explained why it happened.

In a Facebook post the ministry said, “As gas supply to factories are shut during Eid, the gas pressure in transmission and distribution line increased, causing (overflow) the smell.”

The ministry asked the people not to panic, “Titas’s emergency and technical team is working on it”. It also gave Titas’s hotline number 16496 in the post.

The state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid shared the post, asking the citizens not to panic.

Earlier, at around 11:00pm on Monday, news of gas smell started coming from different areas of the capital. Residents of Moghbazar, Eskaton, Rampura, East Rajabazar, Tejgaon, Crescent Road, Bashundhara Residential Area, Badda and Hazaribag complained of smelling gas in the air.

In many areas, announcements were made from local mosques requesting the people to not turn on gas stoves or light match sticks.

The news of a gas leak first came from Rampura. The locals dialed the national emergency number 999 and the police came to the spot to investigate.

Rampura Police Station’s officer-in-charge Rafiqul Islam told Prothom Alo at around 11:00pm, “the police officers smelled the gas at the spot. We have informed Titas. The Titas officials will look into it and take the necessary steps.”

A resident of Mohakhali ward 20 Golam Kibria told Prothom Alo at around 11:30 pm on Monday, the locals there informed the gas smell to the police and the Fire Service. They told the locals to inform Titas. But they weren’t able to contact Titas.

Many panicked citizens posted on Facebook about the gas smell. Many of them complained that they tried to contact Titas using the hotline number but couldn’t reach them.