Blasts rock Dhaka hotel, 45 injured

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Dhaka, June 2 : At least 45 people were injured in a series of explosions at a multi-storey hotel in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, late on Sunday night.

Thirty of the injured were admitted to the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, and Islami Bank Central Hospital, and the number of casualties is expected to rise.

The blasts occurred at the 12-storied Hotel Orchard Plaza in the city's Nayapaltal area. Due to the explosions five floors of the hotel were engulfed in a devastating fire, trapping many hotel residents and employees inside the blazing building.

The fire originated on the sixth floor and spread up to the 11th floor of the hotel.

It is not clear what caused the blasts but explosive experts from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and personnel from the Fire Service and Civil Defence termed the blasts 'mysterious' while not ruling out the possibility of explosives being the cause.

However, it is suspected that a cross connection between the gas line and the sewerage line of the building might have caused the explosions.

According to witnesses, an explosion took place around 9:15 P.M. in room no 602 on the sixth floor of the hotel where two Sri Lankan citizens were residing. Soon after the explosion, a fire engulfed the entire floor, spreading to the upper floors.

Personnels from the fire department, RAB, police, CID and the army rushed to the scene and jointly tried to douse it after the fire broke out.

Around 11:35 P.M. several other blasts occurred, throwing out quite a few furniture and electronic appliances out of the windows, hurting people standing below on the adjacent street.

The cause for the subsequent explosions could not be ascertained.

The hotel has 35 rooms 12 of which were occupied by foreigners at the time of the explosions.

The building was declared off-limits to the public by the authorities after the explosions.

In recent years Bangladesh has seen political instability and has been repeatedly hit by bomb blasts, mostly blamed on Islamist militants, which have killed dozens of people and wounded hundreds.

ANI

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