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At least 16 Worshipers Died in a Pipeline Gas Blast in Bangladesh Mosque; Many Injured

Officials in Bangladesh said Saturday that at least 16 people have died following a blast likely caused by a leak in a gas pipeline at a mosque outside Dhaka during evening prayers Friday.

A seven-year-old boy who had burns on nearly 95 per cent of his body died hours after he was admitted to the hospital, according to Samanta Lal Sen, head of the institute.

The gas explosion on Friday night hit as Muslim worshippers were about to end their evening prayers at the Baitus Salat Jame mosque in Narayanganj district, nearly 25 kilometres south of Dhaka, police officer Zayedul Alam said.

Thirty-seven victims with severe wounds were taken to Dhaka’s specialist burn and plastic surgery institute, he said.

Overnight, 10 people died at the hospital, doctor Partha Sankar Paul told reporters. Five more people died during the day on Saturday, he said, warning that the death toll could rise further.

TV stations reported that because of the impact of the blast, at least six air conditioners also exploded inside the mosque. 

Firefighters were investigating the cause of the explosion.

Abdullah Al Arefin, assistant director of the Fire Service and Civil Defense, said that officials suspected that gas had accumulated inside the mosque from a leak in the underground pipeline, and that it had gone unnoticed.

“The gas could not go out as the windows of the mosque were shut because of the air conditioners,” he said.

Members of the Fire Service and Civil Defence department, who extinguished the fire, said a gas leak might have caused the explosion.

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