Friday, November 15, 2019 | ePaper

Monitoring must to prevent fatal gas cylinder blasts

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THREE of a family died and three others were injured on their way home from hospital as the gas cylinder of an ambulance exploded in Chattogram's Anwara upazila on Thursday. The deceased were identified as Mafij Uddin, 65, his daughter-in-laws Babul Akter, 33, and Jainab Begum, 38, police said. Mafij's two sons and helper of the ambulance were injured in the incident. The accident took place just an hour after the family hired the ambulance to their village home in Banshkhali upazila from CMCH. Mafiz was released from the hospital on the day, six days after he was admitted to the Neurosurgery unit with a head injury.
Gas cylinder explosions have been frequently taking place in different parts of the country. On October 10, three men were killed in gas cylinder explosions in two districts of the country --  Brahmanbaria and Savar. At least nine people, including employees of a restaurant, and pedestrians sustained burn injuries in a gas cylinder explosion at a restaurant-cum-sweetmeat shop near city's Lalbagh crossing on February 24. There are more incidents. So far we know, these accidents are taking place mainly for using substandard and dilapidated cylinders.
Gas Cylinder Act-1991 says re-testing of cylinders is a must in every five years to ascertain the quality. The International Standard Organisations (ISOs) has also made mandatory to re-testing of gas cylinders after every five years. In our country 25/39 years old gas cylinders are allegedly used frequently in vehicles and domestic purposes. It seems millions of people are sitting on sleeping mines. But what's most frustrating is that government didn't take any step despite fatal gas cylinder explosions one after another.  The Department of Explosion under the Ministry of Home is solely responsible to check and monitor the inflammable objects - gas cylinders. But it never performed its duty properly. Besides, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission and Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute, which are also responsible for supervision, usually sit idle keeping their hands closed.
We do urge the authorities concerned to bring production, procurement, filling and distribution of gas cylinders under strict monitoring in a bid to save the lives of innocent people.

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