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Bangladesh Mosque Explosion: Death toll jumps to 17

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Saturday September 5, 2020 10:15 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Bangladesh Mosque Explosion

Dhaka, Sep 5 (IANS) Seventeen people were killed and several others were injured after eight Air Conditioners (AC) exploded during prayers in a mosque in Bangladesh's Fatullah town.

According to locals, the explosions took place at around 8.45 p.m. on Friday at Baitus Salam Mosque in Fatullah just after devotees had finished congregation prayers and were busy offering nawafil.

"All ACs burst into flames"

Sources said that sparking happened in one of the eight air conditioners of the mosque and it exploded. Later, all the six ACs exploded.

Some eyewitnesses said that there was power outage. Electricity supply resumed when about 80 worshippers were offering nawafil prayers. Suddenly, all eight air-conditioners on the ground floor of the mosque burst into flames.

Deputy Assistant Director of Narayanganj Fire Service Abdullah Al Arefin said firefighters were sent to the spot after information was received and the injured were rushed to the hospital.

Imam, 27 others critical

27 victims are in a critical condition, doctors said, adding that some of them including the mosque's 'Imam' suffered 99 per cent burn injuries.

Fire service officials and gas workers are working on the site to repair a faulty gas line which caused the mishap.

Abdul Gafur Member, President of the of the mosque committee accused the local staff of Titas Gas Transmission & Distribution Company Limited (TGTDCL), of demanding 50,000 taka bribe to resolve a gas leakage under the mosque building.

Locals said a gas pipeline passes beneath the mosque. The mosque managing committee had recently filed a complaint over leakage of the pipeline. But the authorities apparently ignored it. It is alleged that gas had leaked from the pipeline and accumulated inside as the windows were closed.

The explosion was probably triggered due to sparking, said fire service officials. They suspect accumulated gas from the leaked pipeline caused a fire that could have triggered the blasts.

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