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Three probe bodies formed as death toll from mosque blast climbs to 16

The death toll from mosque air conditioner blasts in Narayanganj has climbed to 16 as the authorities formed three committees to probe the incident.

A total of 50 burn victims were under care at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery in Dhaka after near-simultaneous blasts of six air conditioners during prayers at the Baitus Salah Jame Mosque on Friday night.

Shahbag Police Inspector (operations) Mahbubur Rahman on Saturday confirmed the death of another victim, Russell.

The burn unit’s coordinator Samanta Lal Sen confirmed the two others, taking the tally to 16. However, they could not be immediately identified.

Another 23 victims are taking treatment at the state-run hospital.

Partho Shankar, the resident physician of the hospital, had earlier confirmed that 11 persons, including a child, had succumbed to the injuries on Saturday.

They were identified as ‘Rifat’, ‘Zubair’, Humayun Kabir, Mostafa Kamal, ‘Ibrahim’, ‘Jewel’, ‘Sabbir’, Delowar Hossain, ‘Jalam’, ‘Junayed’ and Kuddus Bepari.

The child, ‘Jewel’, had burns on 95 per cent of his body, according to the institute’s Assistant Director Dr Hussain Imam.

As many as 37 of the victims, all of who have reportedly suffered burns on minimum 30 per cent of their bodies, were admitted to the hospital in Dhaka.

More than 50 Muslim worshippers sustained burn injuries in the explosion.

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

The authorities also believe gas that accumulated inside the mosque after pipeline leaks may have triggered the blasts.

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