At least five children were killed after a gas cylinder being used to inflate toy balloons exploded in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Wednesday, police and firefighting officials said.
Speaking with newsmen, Mohammad Rasel, an official at the Fire Service and Civil Defence department, said that the cylinder went off as a vendor inflated the balloons to sell them among children gathered on the wayside in the Mirpur neighbourhood of Dhaka, leaving four of them dead at the scene,
According to the official, the children are between the ages of 7 years and 14 years.
Rasel said that rescuers found the bodies of some of the children lying torn apart in a pool of blood at the scene.
A police officer, Abul Kalam Azad, said that fourteen others, including eight children, were rushed to the state-run Dhaka Medical College Hospital after they suffered injuries from the blast.
Physician Alauddin, who goes by a single name, said the condition of four of them is critical.
Television footage showed the relatives of the victims wailing at the blood-soaked scene, while others crowded hospitals.
A firefighting official could not specify the type of gas that was being used by the vendor, who was also critically wounded, to inflate the balloons.
He said that an investigation had been launched to determine the reason behind the accident.
Deaths from cylinder blasts are common in Bangladesh due to lack of inspections and the users’ unwillingness to get the containers tested regularly.