Sufficient expertise to probe building explosion that claimed 17 lives: Bangladesh Home minister 

At least 17 people were killed and over 100 others injured on Tuesday in the explosion at Old Dhaka's crowded Gulistan area.

Published: 08th March 2023 03:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2023 03:09 PM   |  A+A-

Onlookers gather outside the site of an explosion, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo | AP)


DHAKA: Bangladesh's Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said on Wednesday that the country has sufficient expertise to carry out the investigation into the powerful explosion that ripped through a building here and killed at least 17 people, and vowed that the findings of the probe will be made public.

At least 17 people were killed and over 100 others injured on Tuesday in the explosion at Old Dhaka's crowded Gulistan area.

Talking to reporters after visiting the explosion site on Wednesday, Khan said members of bomb disposal units and police, army and fire service personnel will conduct the probe into the incident.

"But if the country's experts fail [to investigate], we will seek assistance from foreign experts," he said.

"The investigation must be impartial. There is no reason for the investigation to be partial," he was quoted as saying by the Daily Star newspaper.

Everything regarding the investigation will be made public, Khan said.

The authorities handed over the bodies of the 17 people who died in the explosion to their relatives on Wednesday, said Inspector Bachchu Mia, in charge of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital police outpost.

A four-member probe body headed by Lt Col Mohammad Tajul Islam Chowdhury, director of Fire Service and Civil Defense (Operation and maintenance), has been formed to look into the cause of the explosion.

The committee has been tasked to submit its report within five working days, said Shahjahan Sikder, an official at the Fire service and Civil Defense headquarters Among the injured, 11 people have been undergoing treatment at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery, United News of Bangladesh reported.

Meanwhile, three firefighting units started the rescue operation for the second day on Wednesday.

Though the Fire Service resumed its rescue and recovery efforts for a second day at a blast site, the work is moving slowly because of the risky condition of the building.

According to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), the building is in a dangerous condition.

The beams and pillars in the basement of the building are damaged, and operating heavy machinery in the area, such as excavators, could create vibrations that might cause the building to collapse, said Zafar Hossain, deputy commissioner of the Lalbagh zone of DMP.

"The experts are already holding a meeting. They will come here and will give further instructions. The rescue work is still incomplete," he was quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune newspaper.

Once the Fire Service fully resumes its operation and removes the debris, only then it will be possible to confirm if anyone is trapped there, he added.

Officials fear the death toll will likely go up as many of those rescued are critically injured.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is currently in Doha for the United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, has prayed for the peace of the departed and urged authorities to take prompt action to ensure better treatment of the injured.

Tuesday's explosion occurred two days after another exposition at a building in Dhaka's Science Laboratory area that killed three people and injured several others.

Last week, seven people were killed in an explosion at a private oxygen plant in the southeastern port city of Chattogram, injuring dozens of others.


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