Dhaka: At least 13 people have died and over 40 others were injured after six air conditioners 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 their prayers.
Sources said that sparking led to one of the A/Cs exploding which then triggered blasts in the other air conditioners of the mosque.
“We primarily suspect that gas leaked from the pipeline and accumulated inside the mosque since the windows were shut. When the air conditioners was turned on, due to sparks the gas could have exploded,” reports quoted Abdullah Al Arefin, a senior fire service official saying.
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.
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.
Firefighters were rushed to the spot and the injured were taken to hospital.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed best possible treatment to the injured.