Empori Centre explosions took place during AC repairs at a time: Police

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-01-13 22:22:57 BdST

The explosions occurred at Gulshan's Empori Financial Centre housing the visa processing office of the Consular Section of the UAE during repair works on the central AC of the building, the police and fire service say.

Causing several loud blasts booming across the area, the incident took place after 1:40pm at Gulshan Avenue’s Road no. 93, killing one while leaving six others injured on Wednesday,

The visa processing office was on the ground floor of the 14-storey building, which also housed several other commercial entities including a branch of the NCC Bank.

Locals said the consecutive blasts created panic as the police sealed off the area with fire service rushing to the spot to begin rescue work, drawing a crowd outside the building.

The blast smashed down the glasses and windows of the building while damaging the front of the building’s ground floor, bringing down aluminium panels, false roofs and plywood.

The damaged UAE visa processing office in Dhaka’s Gulshan after an air-conditioner compressor explosion on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

The dead man was identified as 30-year-old Azizul Haque, a senior technician of Aziz Trade and Engineering Ltd. He had arrived there to carry out the repairs of the AC.

Fire service workers recovered his body from the roof of the building.

Gulshan Police Station OC Abul Hasan said the injured were being treated at United Hospital and that they were out of danger.

The injured were identified as, Nazmul Hasan, 31, Masud Parvez, 31, ‘Kaynat’, 21, Umme Salma, 35, ‘Ferdous’, 21, and ‘Sazal’, 22. All of them were employees at the visa office.

A damaged room of the UAE visa processing office in Dhaka’s Gulshan after an air-conditioner compressor explosion on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

“The blasts basically took place at the ground floor’s visa centre and on the roof. These occurred when the technician was fixing the external unit of the AC on the roof. He died on the spot,” Gulshan Police Inspection (Investigation) Aminul Islam told bdnews24.com.

He said five external units of the AC on the roof exploded and signs of the blasts could be seen on eight units of the AC inside the visa centre.

“Initially, it appears that the blasts originated from the AC. The visa centre employees said the explosions on the roof and inside the building occurred almost at a time.”

Police personnel carry the body after an air-conditioner compressor blast at the UAE visa processing office in Dhaka’s Gulshan killed a man and injured six others on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

However, the cause of the blasts was yet to be determined, Aminul said.

The Director General of the Fire Service Brig Gen Md Sazzad Hossain told bdnews24.com, “The explosions of the outdoor units on the roof may have caused the indoor units to go off.”

He said a four-member committee led by their deputy director would investigate the reason for the explosions.

Initially, the bomb disposal unit of the police were also called in after the blasts.

Asked what their findings were, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Bomb Disposal Unit) Rahmat Ullah Chowdhury said, “Initial investigations indicate that the blasts originated from the ACs. There is no other reason. We are still looking into it.”