Catastrophic Explosion Rocks Bangladesh, Kills 19 and Injures 50
On Tuesday, a catastrophic explosion shook Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 50 others. The powerful “earthquake-like” blast occurred at a seven-storey building near a BRTC bus counter in the Gulistan area of the city.
Eleven firefighting units, comprising of 200 firemen, were mobilized at the scene after the explosion occurred around 4:50 pm (local time). Fire officials report that the blast occurred on the ground floor and the first two floors of the building were badly damaged. The ground floor of the building is home to a sanitary shop, while the remaining four floors house a BRAC Bank office. The blast also damaged a bus parked on the opposite side of the building, reports said.
The debris from the explosion landed on several pedestrians, causing serious injuries. Multiple floors of the building collapsed and the Rapid Action Battalion’s bomb disposal unit was rushed to the spot to inspect the buildings.
Inspector Bacchu Miah of the DMCH police outpost reported that twenty of the injured were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, and all of them were receiving treatment in the emergency unit of the hospital. All doctors rushed to the hospital after receiving a message from the hospital's emergency system and are providing treatment.
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina late on Tuesday expressed profound shock and sorrow at the casualties in the fatal explosion. The president expressed his prayers for the departed souls and offered his deepest condolences to the grieving families in a condolence message. The Prime Minister, who is in Doha, Qatar and is scheduled to return home on Wednesday afternoon after attending the United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, in a separate message, prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls and asked the authorities to take prompt and necessary measures to ensure better treatment of the injured.
The source of the blast could not be determined immediately. However, the police believe it was an accident not a case of sabotage but said they will investigate that possibility. This is the third explosion to occur in Bangladesh in recent weeks. Last week, seven people were killed in an explosion at a private oxygen plant in Chattogram, and another explosion at an oxygen plant in the industrial town of Sitakunda killed seven people and injured at least 25 others.
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