Dakar: Officials said on Saturday that at least 17 people were killed and dozens were injured after a gas pipe explosion in a mosque in Bangladesh.
“I saw smoke was belching out of the mosque after the sudden explosion with a big bang and people were screaming. Some were rolling on the street as they tried to put out the flames on their bodies,” said local resident Mohammad Ratan.
Fire officials said the accumulation of gas caused by a leak in the pipeline below the mosque could trigger an explosion.
“We primarily suspect that gas leaked from the pipeline and accumulated inside since the windows were closed. The explosion was probably triggered due to sparks when the air conditioners were turned on,” said Abdullah Al Arefin, a senior fire service official.
The authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
Domestic and industrial fires in Bangladesh are often blamed on lax regulations and weak enforcement.
In February last year, a hell occurred in a century-old neighborhood in Dhaka, killing 71 people. A month later, an explosion occurred in a 22-story commercial building in an upscale area of New York City, killing 25 people.