• Thursday, Oct 06, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Shitalakkhya launch capsize: Death toll climbs to 30

  • Published at 03:36 am April 5th, 2021
Shitalakkhya launch capsize
File photo: Rescue team pulling out the capsized launch which sank after colliding with a cargo vessel in the Shitalakkhya River on Sunday, April, 4, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

Two probe bodies have been formed to investigate the incident

The death toll from the launch capsize in the Shitalakkhya River on Sunday has climbed to 30 after a rescue ship pulled out the launch from the water.

Five of the bodies were recovered on Sunday while the Navy, Coast Guard, fire service and police recovered a total of 25 bodies on Monday, confirmed Narayanganj Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Shameem Bepari.

Of the 30 bodies recovered till 4:30pm on Monday, 16 were women, nine men and five children. Many more are still missing but the rescue operation has been stopped after bringing up the ship, said Narayanganj Deputy Commissioner Mostain Billah.

The bodies of five women were recovered on Sunday night. Among them were Pakhina, 45, of Munshiganj North Charamsura area, Sunita Saha, 40, of Munshiganj Malpara area, Pratima Sharma, 53, of Munshiganj Sadar upazila, Dukhu Mia's daughter, Chhauda Akhter Lata, 18, of Noagaon Purba Para area of Munshiganj, and another unidentified woman.

A diver preparing for a rescue operation after a small launch capsized in the Shitalakkhya River on Sunday, April 4, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

Among them are Omar Farooq alias Ajmer, 2, son of Sohag Hossain, of Kalyandi School area of Narayanganj Bandar upazila, Bithi 18, wife of Arif, of Munshiganj North Charamsura area, her daughter Arifa ,1, Anwar Sheikh, 40, of Shanir Akhra area of Dhaka Jatrabari, his wife Maksuda Begum, 30, their daughter, Mansura, 6 months.

Shah Alam Mridha, 55, of Munshiganj Rikabi Bazar area, Maharani, 37, of Munshiganj Sadar upazila, Hafizur Rahman, 24, of Barisal Utra Wazirpur area, Hafizur Rahman's wife Tahmina, 20, their son Abdullah, 1, Narayan Das, 65, of Munshiganj South Kewar area, his wife Parvati Rani Das, 45.

Also Read - The last hug: Mother-daughter found in embrace even after death

Saiful, 45, of Kalyandi School area of Narayanganj Bandar upazila, Soleiman Bepari, of Chauddamora area of Mollakandi, Munshiganj, his wife Baby Begum, 60, Khadija Begum, 50, of Barisal, Md Nayan, 29, of Bandar South Selfardi area, Shamsuddin, 90, and his wife Rehena Begum, 65, of Char Kishoreganj Mollakand area. 

Abdul Khaleq, 70, of Shariatpur Naria area, Jibu, 13, daughter of Tofazzal Hossain of Kathalia area of Jhalakathi, Runa Akhter, 24, of Munshiganj, and Bikash Saha, 22, of Nuraitali area of Munshiganj.

Also missing are Anik Saha, 12, son of deceased Sunita Saha, 40, of Munshiganj Malpara area, Yusuf Kazi, son of Matiur Rahman Kazi of Madhya Kondagaon area, Md Sohag Hawlader, son of Sirajul Islam, a resident of Dhaka Mirpur-11, Zakir Hossain, 45, of Betka area of Tongibari, Md Tanvir Hossain Hridoy, son of Md Nurul Amin of South Islampur of Munshiganj Sadar, Rizvi, 20, of Malpara area of Munshiganj.

Also read - Search for survivors as launch sinks in Shitalakkhya

Deputy Commissioner Mostain Billah said a seven-member probe committee headed by Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Kharija Tahera Bobby has been formed to investigate the incident.

He also said, the bodies have been handed over to the families and the district administration granted Tk25,000 to each of the deceased’s family for the burial process. 

Besides, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) formed a four-member investigation committee, led by BIWTA director (Maritime Security) Rafiqul Islam, as per the direction of BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq.

Around 7pm on Sunday, the passenger vessel, ML Sabit Al Hasan, sank after colliding with the cargo ship, SKL-3, at the mouth of the Syedpur Koyla Ghat on the Shitalakkhya River in Munshiganj. Police and onlookers said the cargo vessel fled the scene after the collision. 

Rescue team piling up bodies recovered after a small launch capsized in the Shitalakkhya River on Sunday, April 4, 2021 Dhaka TribuneThe launch had an estimated 150 passengers. Port Police Officer-in-Charge (OC) Deepak Chandra Saha confirmed that 50-60 of them were able to swim to the two banks, but three of them had to be rushed to the hospital.

Narayanganj naval police OC Md Shahidul Alam said : “The launch, which was on its way to Munshiganj from Narayanganj Central Launch Terminal, reached a place near the under construction bridge in Charsaidpur area of Shitalakkhya River and was hit by the cargo ship.

Relatives of the passengers who went missing in the launch sinking on Sunday, April 4, 2021 are crowding on the banks of Shitalakkhya in search of their dear ones Dhaka Tribune

Narayanganj District Deputy Director of Fire Service and Civil Defense Abdullah Al Arefin on Sunday said: “Due to the storm, we were late in starting the rescue work. However, the rescue work is still ongoing."

Meanwhile, the relatives of the passengers who went missing in the launch sinking are crowding on the banks of Shitalakkhya in search of their relatives.

Also Read - ‘Find me the body of my sister’

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