Gas cylinder blast kills 5 children in Bangladesh

October 30, 2019

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — At least five children died and 17 others were injured Wednesday after a gas cylinder used to inflate balloons exploded outside a school in Bangladesh’s capital, police said.

Local police chief Abul Kalam Azad said the explosion took place when a vendor was selling balloons to children who live in a nearby slum in Dhaka’s Rupnagar area. The cylinder was placed on a tricycle rickshaw when the explosion happened, he said.

The children who died were between ages 7 and 14. Azad said the death toll could rise.

Quoting witnesses, Azad said blood-soaked bodies were lying at the scene while some victims had their heads smashed. A woman has lost an arm from elbow because of the impact of the blast, he said.

The cause of the explosion was not clear immediately, but the use of substandard gas cylinders is rampant in the South Asian nation where inspection and monitoring by the authorities are weak.