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Barisal launch capsize toll rises to 24

  • Published at 10:39 am September 22nd, 2016
  • Last updated at 05:16 am September 23rd, 2016
Barisal launch capsize toll rises to 24
The launch, ML Oishi, was salvaged around 8:30am, nearly 21 hours after it capsized at Dasherhaat Point. Zakir Hossain, additional district magistrate of Barisal and head of the probe committee formed by the district administration, declared the end of the rescue operation around 11am. The magistrate also declared that each of the families of the dead victims would receive Tk10,000 as burial cost. Relatives, however, alleged that another eight were still missing. Thirteen bodies were recovered on the first day. Yesterday the relatives of the missing victims were still waiting on the bank of the river alleging that the authorities had not operated the rescue operation properly. Though the authorities claimed that the launch had not been registered as a passenger-carrying vessel and had no valid route permit, locals say it was carrying passengers on the route for many long and that there are more eight launches still plying on the route. Barisal Port Officer Mustafizur Rahman said: “The sunken boat was not a launch but a trawler, and it was plying on the route instead of another launch. “We are looking for the launch owner, Yusuf Daktar.” On the other hand, Ziaul Hasan, officer-in charge of Banariara police, admitted that the launches plying on the route were not fit, but they were silent over this issue for the sake of the passengers’ conveniences. On Wednesday, the launch plying on Banaripara-Swarupkathi route sank at Dasherhaat Point around 11:30am. According to the survivors, the river stream created a strong whirlpool after a portion of the river bank eroded away. The launch capsized as the panicked passengers rushed to one side of the vessel. Superintendent of Police SM Akhtaruzzaman said that most of the 60 passengers on the launch succeeded to swim to the shore as it had capsized near the Masjid Bari station on the river bank. Locals joined hands with fire fighters to rescue passengers of the launch that capsized Wednesday morning. However, strong current and river erosion had hampered the rescue operation.
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