Three arrested in Bangladesh building explosion case as death toll rises to 21


Dhaka: Bangladesh authorities arrested three people in connection with the deadly explosion in a multi-storey building at a crowded area here in the national capital as rescue workers on Thursday recovered one more body from the rubble, raising the death toll to 21.

The “earthquake-like” explosion at the building at Old Dhaka’s crowded Gulistan area on Tuesday also injured over 100 people.

Three people including the owner of the building were arrested and remanded to custody, the Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Mahbub Ahmed on Thursday placed building owner Wahidur Rahman, his brother Matiur Rahman and businessman Motaleb Mintu each on a two-day remand.

Meanwhile, rescue workers on Thursday recovered one more body from the rubble of the building, raising the death toll to 21.

The body was identified as that of a 38-year-old manager of Bangladesh Sanitary situated in the basement of the building, bdnews24 news portal reported.

Firefighters retrieved 20 bodies in the first two days of the rescue mission in the building, which was declared risky in the wake of the explosion.

The cause of the explosion could not be known immediately, but local residents suspected chemicals illegally stored inside the building, mostly used as an office and business complex, might have sparked the blast.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Wednesday that the country has sufficient expertise to carry out an investigation into the explosion.

A four-member probe body headed by Lt Col Mohammad Tajul Islam Chowdhury, director of Fire Service and Civil Defence (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.

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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( With inputs from )

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