Gulistan blast: Explosion in old Dhaka killed 16, hundreds injured

Dhaka's Gulistan blast killed 16, including two women, and injured over a hundred others. Officials are investigating the cause of the blast.

Gulistan blast: Explosion in old Dhaka killed 16, hundreds injured

Photo credit: Public Press BD

An explosion in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, killed 16 and injured over a hundred others on Tuesday, March 7th. The incident occurred in a five-storied commercial complex in the Gulistan locality of old Dhaka at 4.55pm on Tuesday. The Gulistan blast’s effect was very strong, as it took place in a congested locality, ripping off the commercial complex and damaging adjacent buildings.

Sources told East Post that debris from the Gulistan blast is scattered throughout the area. Blood, broken glass panes, and huge chunks of broken concrete are lying all over the place. Sources reported that the congested lanes and the presence of a large crowd of onlookers caused a severe delay in the rescue operations.

The officer of the police station in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), Bachchu Mia informed the media that there are 14 men and two women among those who died in the Gulistan blast. The victims weren’t identified until the filing of this report.

The director of the DMCH, Brigadier General Mohammad Nazmul Haque, confirmed that 16 were killed in the Gulistan blast. Brigadier General Haque informed that 11 of them were brought dead and five succumbed to their injuries later.

The epicentre of the Gulistan blast is a commercial complex housing a sanitary store on the ground floor, while the rest four floors were occupied by a bank. The firefighters and the police have not identified the exact location or the cause of the blast.

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Khondkar Golam Farooque and the DMP’s Detective Branch (DB) chief Mohammad Haroon Al-Rashid have visited the spot. The DMP didn’t confirm whether the explosion was a result of an accident or an act of terror.

Fire brigade’s public relations officer Shahjahan Sikder has informed the press that 11 engines have been put into the rescue operations along with five ambulances to ferry the wounded. The fire department could not confirm the cause of the explosion either.

Sources informed East Post that though many volunteers reached DMCH to donate blood to the Gulistan blast victims, the ruling Awami League’s student wing Chhatra League took over the donation exercise. It’s alleged by volunteers that they were allowed to donate their blood only after they registered themselves at the Chhatra League’s counter in the hospital. The police remained mute spectators amid this chaos.

Residents of the nearby Paltan area told East Post that the congested areas of old Dhaka are prone to major tragedies due to unplanned constructions and electrical wirings. They complained that incidents like the Gulistan blast are turning into quite a regular affair in these localities of Dhaka.

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