Thursday, 18 August, 2022
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Shitalakkhya launch capsize: BIWTA files 2 cases accusing eight

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority  (BIWTA) filed two separate cases against eight staffers of the cargo vessel that hit a launch in the Shitalakkhya River in Narayanganj leaving at least eight people dead.
 
BIWTA Deputy Director (Naval Safety) Babu Lal Vaidya filed the two cases at Bandar police station in Narayanganj and naval court on Monday, said Masud Kamal, Joint Director of BIWTA Narayanganj river port.
 
Detained master-driver, greaser engineer, and six other staffers of the cargo vessel were shown arrested in the case filed with police, said Md Moniruzzaman, officer-in-Charge of Narayanganj sadar naval police station.
 
They have been produced before court seeking a seven day remand for interrogation, said the OC.
 
Meanwhile, BIWTA has announced an indefinite suspension of launch movement on Narayanganj-Chandpur and Munshiganj from Monday.
 
“Lack of skill among launch drivers, carelessness, small sizes of vessels are some of the many reasons for suspension of launch movements on this route, “ said Masud Kamal, Joint Director of BIWTA Narayanganj river port.
 
Death toll from the accident rose to eight on Monday after recovering two more bodies from the river.
The body of a 40-year-old man was retrieved from the river in the morning, said deputy assistant director (media cell) of Fire Service and Civil Defense headquarter Mohamamd Shahjahan Shikdar.

Besides, the body of a 45-year-old woman identified as Umme Khairun Fatema, headmistress of Harial Government Primary School in Sonargaon, was recovered from the river in the morning.
Four passengers of the launch are still missing, he said.

The missing are Abdullah Al Jaber Adnan,35, from Dhaka’s Demra area, Moslem Uddin hatem,55, from Munshiganj, Arohi and Jobayer Hossain.

Earlier, rescue vessel ‘Pratyay’ of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) retrieved sunken launch ‘MV Afsar Uddin’ from the Sitalakkhya River around 5:30am.

However, no body was found inside the launch, said the fire service officials.

On Sunday, Munshiganj-bound launch ML Asraf Uddin, carrying around 50-60 passengers, capsized in the river as cargo vessel MV Rupshi-9 hit it around 2:30 pm, according to Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters.

At least six bodies, including two children, were recovered on the day.

The deceased were identified as Joynal Bhuiyan, aged about 50,  Arifa Begum, 35, her 15-months old son Shafayet Hossain, Fatema, 7, Smrity Rani Barman, 19, Salma, 33.

Some 15-20 passengers managed to swim ashore.

The naval police seized MV Ruposhi-9, a cargo ship owned by City Group. The cargo anchored at ‘Hossain The Dockyard’ in Munshiganj shortly after the accident and detained nine staffs in it.