Staff Correspondent in Dhaka,
The death toll from the mosque blast in Narayanganj has risen to 21 after more victims succumbed to their injuries at a Dhaka hospital, officials said on Saturday.
Partha Shankar Paul, a resident physician of the Sheikh Hasina Burn and Plastic Surgery Institution, said the 20 people died at the health facility since last night. The Imam of the mosque was among the deceased, he said.
The fatality toll may rise further as condition of many others are stated to be critical, added Paul.
A seven-year-old boy died hours after he was brought to the hospital, Samanto Lal Sen told reporters on Friday night.
The explosion occurred on Friday night when Muslim worshipers were about to end their late evening prayers at Baitus Salat Jame Masjid in Narayanganj district, police officer Mohammad Zayedul Alam said.
The scene is nearly 25 kilometers south of the capital Dhaka.
Gas line leakage might have caused the explosion that immediately triggered a fire inside the mosque, the officer said adding that local residents and the members of the Fire Service and Civil Defence department rescued the victim.
Thirty-eight victims were rushed to the specialized burn and plastic surgery institute in Dhaka.
The Fire Service and Civil Defence department has launched an investigation into the accident and the police’s bomb disposal unit has collected evidence to understand the nature of the blast.
Three more investigation committees were formed to know exactly what caused the blast inside the mosque.
The Power Division has asked its officials to check electric connections and air conditions at all places of worshiping across Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the authorities have handed 16 of the bodies to their relatives without conducting autopsy. The relatives requested them not to conduct the autopsy, said local government official Nahid Barik .
The victims’ families were given a small sum of money to conduct the rites of the deceased.
Nasrul Hamid Bipu, the state minister for Energy, Power and Minseral Resources Ministry, said that if any negligence from the state-run gas distribution and transmission company Titas is fined they will be brought to book.