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Blast kills at least six, injures 50

BANGLADESH (The Daily Star/ANN) -- At least six people were killed and 50 others injured in a huge explosion on the ground floor of a three-storey building in the capital’s Moghbazar Sunday evening.
Officials of Fire Service and Civil Defence and a bomb disposal unit of police primarily suspected gas leakage to be the source of the explosion at the building on Outer Circular Road.
Three of the victims were identified as Jannat Aktar, 23, her nine-month-old daughter Subhana, and Md Swapan, 35, their family members

Rescuers work at the site of the explosion in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on June 27, 2021. At least seven people were killed and dozens of others injured in the collapse of a commercial building after a massive explosion in Dhaka on Sunday.             --Photo Xinhua

said. The identities of the other victims could not be known.
Soon after the explosion at 7:35pm, locals rushed to rescue the injured and sent them to different hospitals and clinics on whatever vehicles they found.
Firefighters later joined the efforts with 15 fire engines. They searched the ground floor for hours to ensure there is no body or anyone trapped under the rubble.
Three fire service units were still working at the spot when this report was filed around 2:00am on Monday.
Brig Gen Md Sazzad Hussain, director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence, said they are primarily suspecting that the explosion took place from accumulation of gas from a leakage.
“We are measuring the presence of gas in the building,” said the DG while addressing reporters at the spot. Contacted over phone, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shafiqul Islam said the explosion was not an act of sabotage and primarily believed to have been caused by gas leakage.
Sazzadur Rahman, deputy commissioner (Ramna Division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, confirmed the deaths of six people at 11:30pm last night. The DMP commissioner had earlier said seven had died in the explosion, but DC Sazzadur revised that number later.
Ground floor walls, pillars had collapsed while refrigerators, air conditioners and other items had disintegrated. The force of the explosion shot some rubble into the busy road in front of the building, hitting people and passing vehicles and causing injury to many, said witnesses.
The ground floor housed an appliance store, an abattoir, a restaurant, and a sweetmeat shop.
During a visit to the spot around 9:30pm last night, The Daily Star saw shattered glass from nearby buildings strewn all over the street. Bloodstains were also seen at different spots on the road. Three passenger busses hit by flying rubble were damaged and stuck on the road. 
Around 10 of those hurt in the explosion had sustained burn injuries and were admitted to the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery. At least 40 others were being treated at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s emergency unit, said hospital sources. Of the injured, 15 were said to be in critical condition, the sources added.
Accumulated gas in the appliance store could have ignited and caused the explosion, said an official of a bomb disposal unit that visited the spot.
“We are analysing the nature of the explosion,” said Rahmatullah Chowdhury of the bomb disposal unit.
Sheikh Abdul Jalil, owner of an adjacent four-storey building, said, “I heard a huge bang and then my building started shaking. It seemed to that a tremor jolted my building.
“Then I saw smoke billowing from the building. Many people were shouting for help,” he told The Daily Star. He said he went to the spot around 10 minutes later and saw at least 50 people being rushed to hospital.
Jalil, also the principal of the nearby Oriental School, said window panes of his house and school had shattered due to the explosion. All the glass up to five floors of a nine-storey building across the road had totally shattered.
Md Imon, a local involved in the rescue operation, said he and his friends had rescued three people, including a baby, from the building.

(Latest Update June 29, 2021)

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