30 killed in launch capsize in Buriganga


At least 30 passengers died after a launch carrying more than 50 passengers capsized in the Buriganga river in city’s Shyambazar area on Monday morning.

A total of 30 bodies were recovered so far. Several others went missing in the incident.
The bodies were sent to the Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital in the city.

Lieutenant Commander Hayat Ibne Siddique , Media Officer of Bangladesh Coast Guard confirmed the matter to Bangladesh Post.

Among the victim, nineteen are men, eight women and three children. However, identities of the victims could not be known immediately.

According to the eyewitnesses, a passenger vessel named MV Rishan Morning Bird had a collision with MV Moyur, a launch plying on Dhaka-Chandpur route and capsized with on board passengers in the river. A few passengers managed to swim to the shore, but many remained missing.

According to Commodore Golam Sadeq, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), collision between two launches caused the accident.

He disclosed this while talking to journalists after visiting the spot.
BIWTA authority asked relatives of the missing people to contact BIWTA on 01716026704.

Members of Coast Guard, Naval Police, Navy and Fire Service were taking part in rescue operation.
Shajahan Shikder, deputy assistant director (media) of the Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters , said that the sunken launch was traced around 11:33am.

A rescue vessel is on the way to pull out the sunken launch.
BIWTA formed a four-member probe team to investigate into the accident.
The committee was asked to submit its report within three working days.

Shipping Ministry also formed another 7-member probe body, headed by joint secretary Rafiqul Islam Khan, over the incident.
While visiting the spot ,State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury claimed that the launch capsize in the Buriganga River seems to be premeditated.

He said, “The investigation is going on. People responsible for the incident will face action.”
The state minister also said families of the deceased would get Tk10,000 now for burial and Tk150,000 each will be given as compensation.

“From what we have seen in CCTV footages, it was kind of murder. It seems planned,” he said.
“If the investigation finds it as a planned incident, we will take necessary action against the people involved in it,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Passengers’ Welfare Association demanded immediate rescue of the victims, their medical treatment and a proper compensation for them, among others, in connection with the accident Mozammel Haque, Secretary General of the organization made the demands through a press release.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed their profound shock and condolences for the loss of lives in the launch capsize.

They prayed for the eternal salvation of the departed souls and expressed deep sympathy to the bereaved families.
Prime Minister is keeping regular update on the rescue operation.