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Home » Patuakhali » Death toll of capsizing launch reached 13
4 May 2014 Sunday 2:00:51 PM
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Death toll of capsizing launch reached 13
Anisur Rahman Swapan

The death toll of capsizing launch M V Sathil-1 reached 13 after recovery of more 5 dead bodies on Sunday morning.

Four of the newly recovered dead bodies were identified as Rashida Begum, 40, Renu Aktar Liza, 26, Nasima Aktar, 30, Mizanur Rahman, 35, and one male dead body yet remained unidentified, said Sub Inspector Abdul Halim of Kalagachhia river police camp, from the spot.

The seven out of earlier recovered eight dead bodies seven were identified as Rishat, 5, Luthfa, 50, Runia, 20, Manowara, 50, Isahuq, 6, Nipu Begum, 35, and Tinni, 6 and rest one remained unidentified, he added.

MV Shathil-1, a launch plying on Rangabali-Patuakhali route carrying about 50-60 passengers on board capsized at Shikdar Bari Mor between Ishadi and Kalagachhia stations on Ramnabad River at about 3: 10 Pm Saturday.

The launch departing Galachipa upazila station about 2:00 PM while advancing towards Patuakhali caught in nor-wester after reaching on the aforesaid spot.

Primarily it was suspected that at least 13 passengers recovered and rescued alive by swimming and with the help of locals.

After recovery of 13 dead bodies from the river till this report , at least 20 suspected by the co passengers as missing, said Md. Dulal, Kalagachhia union parishad chairman.

Kazi Md. Saimuzzaman, acting upazila nirbahi officer Galachipa, said TK 20 thousand given for every dead body as carrying and burial cost.

Amitav Sarkar, deputy commissioner Patuakhali, confirming these reports said 17 member team of fire service and 10-member team of naval forces searching spot for recovering the victims.

However rescue and recovery operation would be resumed fully after the salvage vessel MV Hamza, which left Barisal base station for the spot on Saturday afternoon, will reach at the spot around 2:00 pm, the administrative and police officials told.

On other hand shipping ministry formed a 5-member investigation committee led by Muhammad Hossain, director (conservancy) and including Md. Alauddin, additional secretary shipping ministry and they starts for the spot.

It was learnt that M V Shathil-1 owned by former BNP lawmaker Shahjahan Khan, was half-drowned after a collision with Dhaka bound triple-deck motor launch MV Anchal-5 near Patuakhali river port on January 27. Prince of Patuakhali, another vessel of the same owner also has record of capsize for two times.

Shahjahan Khan was sick and not available for comment, but his son Shiplu Khan, owner of Shiplu Transport, told the journalists that 25.1 meter long, 5.49 meter wide and 1.68 meter depth launch with 160 passenger carrying capacity was constructed as per approved design and specification of the shipping ministry and the launch capsized due to nor-wester storm.

A K M Fakhrul Islam, chief engineer of shipping ministry, said this kind of launches constructed in 1983-85 and now approval not giving for that type of design to construct launch and earlier constructed launches ordered to stop plying since 2006.

However Barisal River Port officer and deputy director Md. Shahidullah, said MV Shathil-1 was running with valid route permit and he yet not know about the restriction of plying that type of vessel on the route.

In this situation River Safety Week begins in the country from Sunday amid the continuation of fatal accidents on the river routes.

Edited By: Central Desk

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