Gas was leaking from an abandoned pipeline in the basement which was damaged during the construction of Baitus Salam Mosque where a blast earlier this month killed 31 people, a Titas Gas probe committee said in its report Thursday.
Headed by Titas Gas General Manager Abdul Wahab, the committee submitted its report to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
“The mosque has two electricity lines — one legal and another illegal. During a power outage around Esha prayer, the muazzin switched to another line. There was a spark which caused the fire and air conditioner blast,” Wahab explained in the report submitted to Senior Secretary Anisur Rahman.
Wahab claimed that the committee did not find any evidence that a Titas employee had demanded Tk 50,000 in bribe to repair the damaged pipeline.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the ministry will examine the report and identify the negligence of people responsible for the blast.
“Nobody will be spared if found guilty. We’re yet to go through the report. It’ll help us identify the persons responsible for their negligence,” he told reporters.
Hamid said the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC) is investigating how the mosque managed to get an illegal connection.
He said the inquiry report will be made public through the ministry’s website.
Some 40 people suffered burns after air conditioners of the mosque exploded during Esha prayers in Fatullah, Narayanganj on September 4.
Locals said the incident took place when the devotees had just finished their prayers. An air conditioner went off and sparked a fire inside the mosque. Later, the remaining six ACs exploded, injuring 40 devotees.
Petrobangla Chairman ABM Abdul Fattah and Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd Managing Director Ali Mohammad Al Mamun were present during the submission of the report on Thursday.