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Mosque blast | Bangladesh High Court orders state-run gas agency to pay compensation to victims

Onlookers peep through a broken window of a mosque, following a fire accident, in Narayanganj, Bangladesh.   | Photo Credit: AFP

A Bangladesh court has ordered a state-run gas transmission and distribution company to pay on an emergency basis a compensation of ₹4.35 lakh (Tk 500,000) each to the victims of the air-conditioner blasts at a mosque on the outskirts of Dhaka.

The High Court in Dhaka on Wednesday gave the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited seven days to make the payments, the Bdnews reported.

A gas leak in an underground pipeline of the company caused the six air-conditioners to explode almost simultaneously during Friday evening prayers on September 4 at the Baitul Salat mosque in the central district of Narayanganj.

The death toll from the blast on Thursday rose to 29 with another person succumbing to his injuries in a Dhaka hospital.

More than 50 Muslim worshippers sustained burn injuries in the blast. As many as 37 of the victims were subsequently admitted to the burn institute. The authorities believe gas accumulated inside the mosque after pipeline leaks may have triggered the blasts following an electric short-circuit.

The court directed the deputy commissioner of Narayangang to distribute the funds among the families of 37 victims. Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order after hearing the families’ petition for compensation on Thursday.

A Supreme Court lawyer, Mar-e-Um Khandaker, filed the writ petition in the public interest. Officials and locals blamed gas leaks for the explosion.

Members of the mosque’s governing body alleged that the company officials refused to repair the leaks without the payment of Tk 50,000.

The Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, state gas transmission and distribution agency Titas and the district administration of Narayanganj have each formed a committee to investigate the explosions.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 11:53:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/mosque-blast-bangladesh-high-court-orders-state-run-gas-agency-to-pay-compensation-to-victims/article32571724.ece

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