Authorities have launched an investigation into a deadly explosion that killed seven people in Dhaka, officials said on Monday.
The Sunday blast, believed to have been caused by accumulated cooking gas at a four-storey building that housed shops, showrooms and private offices in the Bangladeshi capital’s central Maghbazar district, left dozens others wounded.
The explosion also damaged three city buses carrying passengers by the building at the time and seven adjoining buildings.
Debashish Bardhan, an official at Fire Service and Civil Defence department, said members of a four-strong investigation panel collected evidence on Monday.
The panel will report back in seven days about what caused the blast, he said, adding that the investigators initially blamed accumulated cooking gas at a restaurant on the ground floor for the explosion.
Benazir Ahmed, chief of Bangladesh’s police force, said no evidence so far hinted at an act of sabotage.
But he said police explosives experts will launch an investigation. “We will wait until the probe report comes to make a final comment,” he said.
Civil engineers from the public works department also inspected the damaged building, constructed more than 60 years ago, to see whether it would be suitable for use.
Deaths from gas leak explosions due to poor maintenance and lax application of law are common in Bangladesh.
In September, at least 33 people were killed in such an explosion at a mosque in Narayanganj, which lies about 25 kilometres south of Dhaka.