The probe report by the Narayanganj district administration found both Titas Gas authorities and the mosque committee responsible for the blast
The mosque committee of Narayanganj's Baitus Salat Jame Masjid has called the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited probe report, on the September 4 blast, "biased" and "a complete lie."
Md Abdul Gafur, president of the committee, told The Business Standard on Friday that Titas' report is fabricated and false.
"Even though the mosque does not have its own gas connection, the gas spread inside it from the riser of a line which was partly damaged," he said.
"Titas claimed that it did not receive an application to fix the leaks, but the locals had complained that they tried to raise money for a bribe, demanded by Titas, through the worshippers," he added.
"Titas came to repair the gas line after the explosion happened at the mosque. This is ridiculous. It is visible that a gas line of Titas has passed by the walls of the north side of the mosque. A few leaks were found there. Gas entered the mosque through the leaks," Gafur said.
The president of the mosque committee also claimed that even though the line was not their own, they contacted Titas' zonal office to fix the leaks. "But Titas employees had demanded Tk50,000 for it," he said.
Gafur also claimed that construction of the mosque was completed before the installation of the gas line.
Further, the locals said they contributed when an announcement was made at the mosque to collect the money demanded by Titas.
Meanwhile, the mosque committee admitted that one of the two power connections of the mosque were illegal.
Relatives of the ones killed in the blast demanded the disclosure of the facts and appropriate punishment for the real culprits.
Thirteen days after the accident, Titas and the district administration probe bodies submitted separate reports on Thursday.
The Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence's report is scheduled to be submitted by Sunday.
Titas, in its report, said Baitul Salah Jame Mosque was built without the permission of the authorities concerned including the city corporation.
At a press briefing at the secretariat on Thursday, Titas probe committee Convener Abdul Wahab Talukder, also the general manager of the gas distributor, said: "The mosque committee is responsible for the blast as they had an illegal power line. They also damaged the gas line during the construction of the building."
"There was load-shedding just before the blast. It took place from the spark of the electric line when the muezzin switched on the line," he added.
Meanwhile, the district administration submitted its probe report to Deputy Commissioner of Narayanganj Jashim Uddin 10 days after it started the investigation.
The probe report of Narayanganj district administration found both Titas Gas authorities and the mosque committee responsible for the blast.
The blast, which caused 31 deaths and left five more critically injured, was caused by accumulated gas inside the mosque, from a leaked gas pipeline, being sparked by an electrical connection, the report said.
"The probe committee prepared the report after talking to Titas Gas authorities, the Dhaka Power Distribution Company, mosque committee members, and witnesses," said Jashim.
"The 40-page report detailed how the explosion took place and how the negligence of Titas Gas authorities and the mosque committee led to this," he told reporters.