What happened at Baitus Salat mosque where explosion burnt worshippers

The authorities are not sure how six air conditioners exploded at Baitus Salat Jame Masjid in Narayanganj’s Fatullah at a time, but the police and the Fire Service and Civil Defence believe gas from leaks in pipelines caused the blast.

Liton Haiderand Mozibul Haque Palashbdnews24.com
Published : 4 Sept 2020, 10:44 PM
Updated : 4 Sept 2020, 10:47 PM

More than 50 people were injured when the explosion occurred during Isha prayers on Friday night, with at least 30 of them critically burnt, doctors said.

Speaking to bdnews24.com after visiting the mosque at Pashchimtalla neighbourhood in Sadar Upazila, fire service Director General Md sazzad Hussain shed light on their findings.

“Gas from leaks in a pipe beneath the mosque’s floor accumulated inside the building. The windows were closed because the mosque had ACs. Besides this, ACs also have gas,” he said.

“There might have been an electric short circuit while turning a switch on or off. We initially suspect the ACs on the upper side of the walls exploded because the gas accumulated in the upper side,” he added.

At least 40 Muslim worshippers were burnt in what the authorities said were explosions of air-conditioners at Baitus Salat Jame Masjid in Narayanganj’s Fatullah on Sep 4, 2020.

He also said bubbles from the watered floor of the mosque proved that there are leaks in the gas pipeline.

Jaeydul Alam, the district’s superintendent of police, agreed with Sazzad.

“Statements of the fire service officials and initial inspection of the site initially confirm that the gas caused the explosion,” he said.

“But we are investigating all angles. Members of the Criminal Investigation Department of police collected evidence from the scene. Police are also investigating whether there was some other reason behind the fire,” he added.          

State-owned Titas Gas was working to repair the leaks while the power authorities disconnected the line to the mosque. Additional police personnel were deployed in the neighbourhood.  

The fire service has formed a committee to investigate the cause of the fire.

Relatives are in tears after at least 40 Muslim worshippers were burnt in what the authorities said were explosions of air-conditioners at Baitus Salat Jame Masjid in Narayanganj’s Fatullah on Sep 4, 2020.

Out of the 37 victims who were sent to the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery, 30 were in critical condition, the institute’s Director Professor Dr Md Abul Kalam told bdnews24.com around 1am on Saturday.

No one died until that time, but a child was in “very bad condition”, he said.

All the victims had 60 to 90 percent of their bodies burnt, according to the doctor.

Ratan Mia, the owner of a rickshaw garage next to the mosque, said he rushed to the street after hearing the loud bang and saw the victims rushing from inside.

“Many had flames on them. The others had burns. They were crawling on the dirty street water to extinguish the flames. We initially did not approach the mosque fearing electrocution. The locals rescued the victims when the power line was off,” he said. 

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher