• Friday, Oct 07, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

26 missing, 1 dead as Rohingya trawler fleeing from Bhasan Char capsizes

  • Published at 05:54 am August 15th, 2021
File Photo: Over one million Rohingyas live in Bangladesh now since fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state in 2017 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Body of an unidentified 12-year-old boy was found floating about 20km off the coast of Bhashan Char

A trawler carrying around 40 Rohingya refugees capsized off the coast of Chittagong in the Bay of Bengal while fleeing from the Bhashan Char island.

The incident took place in the sea about 15km east of Bhashan Char around 2:30am on Saturday, Bangladesh Coast Guard’s East Zone Commander Captain Kazi Shah Alam confirmed while talking to Dhaka Tribune on Sunday morning.

Fishermen of some other trawlers managed to rescue 14 of them but at least 27 are still missing, according to Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) office’s Additional Secretary Shah Rezwan Hayat on Saturday night.

However, at around 4pm on Sunday, the body of an unidentified 12-year-old boy was found floating about 20km off the coast of Bhashan Char.

The child is now being taken to Bhashan Char, and his identity might be confirmed there, informed Captain Kazi Shah Alam.

Also Read - UNHCR ready to support rescue work after Rohingya boat capsize

Bhashan Char police station OC Md Rafiqul Islam said the Rohingya trawler had secretly left the island late on Friday night. “Fourteen people have been rescued and right now it’s not possible to say anything about the rest.”

RRRC representative and Bhashan Char Camp In-Charge Sunjit Kumar Chandra said the overloaded boat might have sunk after losing control in the rough weather.

Captain Alam said Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard are conducting a search and rescue operation. “Two Coast Guard ships named Porte Grande' and 'Oporajeo' and one navy ship named 'Atandra' have joined the rescue operations.”

The relocation of Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar refugee camps to the camps ta Bhashan Char had started in December last year. About 19,000 Rohingyas was moved there in several phases till April this year. 

According to government officials, all these Rohingyas went there voluntarily. However, some of the Rohingyas still try to escape.

Bangladesh currently hosts over 1.1 million Rohingya population in a number of refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.

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