Gas leak caused Moghbazar blast, probes find. But its source remains unknown

The Fire Service and Titas Gas have both attributed gas build-up to the deadly explosion that saw a three-storey come crashing down in Dhaka's Moghbazar.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 14 July 2021, 08:06 PM
Updated : 14 July 2021, 08:06 PM

But neither organisation has been able to pinpoint the source of the gas leak in their probe reports.

Although the police inquiry report is not yet in, an official told bdnews24.com that the explosion was caused by the trapped gas.

The official findings of the Department of Explosives are also pending but it has already reported the presence of hydrocarbons at the scene.

On Jun 27, a massive blast at the building caused the ground floor and the first floor to collapse. Besides the deaths of 12 people, over 100 others were injured in the incident.

The blast was big enough to shatter the glass windows and panels of more than a dozen buildings nearby and damage three buses passing through the area. A bus driver and a passenger were among the dead.

The Bengal Meat store occupied nearly half the ground floor, while the rest of the space was rented by a Shawarma House restaurant. The first floor had a showroom for Singer, an electronics giant.

A five-strong committee of the Fire Service submitted its report to the home ministry on Wednesday, said its Director General Brig Gen Md Sazzad Hossain.

"It is clear that the blast was sparked by gas accumulation," he told bdnews24.com.

Regarding the source of the gas leak, he said, "A Titas gas connection has been found there. At the same time, there are two ‘pits’ connected to the sewerage line inside the building to drain out the dirty water. That is where the gas was found. ”

The Fire Service suspects a gas leak from one of the two pits coupled with an electrical malfunction triggered the blast.

It also found a gas line in the collapsed building after the explosion and informed Titas Gas about it.

Sabil Awal, a manager of Titas Gas, told bdnews24.com at the time, "There can't legally be any gas line there. We are looking into where that line led and who used it.”

A committee headed by Saiful Islam Chowdhury, general manager of Titas' Vigilance Division was formed to investigate the incident.

"Two days after the incident, we submitted the investigation report to the relevant department. If there is anything to be said about the content of the report, it must be done by the higher authorities,” Saiful said.

“We found an abandoned line there. It was closed. ”

However, he refused to answer when asked if gas could have spilt out of that line.

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