Launch capsize: Death toll rises to 27 in Shitalakkya


Dailynewsun Report:

The rescue operation has been wrapped up on Monday after the fire service retrieved 27 bodies so far from the Munshiganj bound launch that capsized in the Shitalakkya River in Narayanganj with over 50 passengers on Sunday evening.

“The rescue vessel ‘Prattoy’ tugged out the sunken launch on the river bank through crane and rescued the dead bodies by turns after searching inside the launch,” confirmed Commodore M Sadeque, Chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).

The rescue salvage operation has been declared abandoned, said the official.

Quoting fire service personnel, Narayanganj correspondent added that the fire service diver’s team along with the coast guard launched the rescue operation at around 5.30am this morning and rescued twenty-two more bodies of male-female and children from the wreckage .

Earlier, bodies of five women also were rescued till Sunday midnight. Local administration said they will hand over the bodies to their families after some formalities.

A video footage shows that a cargo vessel hit the launch and dragged it for almost 30 kilometre before it sank into the river. A few number of the passengers managed to survive, but most of them went missing in the river after the accident.

After the launch sank near the third Shitalakkhya Bridge at Koylaghat of Syedpur at around 6pm on Sunday evening, BIWTA, Fire Service and Civil Defence, and Coast Guard conducted joint rescue operation till 2:00am and recovered five bodies.

BIWTA officials said they were trying to locate the cargo vessel responsible for the accident.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury and Secretary of the concerned ministry Mohammad Mejbah Uddin Chowdhury have expressed profound shock at the launch capsize incident that claimed the lives of 27 people in Shitalakkya river in Narayanganj.

In separate condolence message, they prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.