Sunday, 19 September, 2021

27 Rohingyas missing as trawler capsizes at sea

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 16 August, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
27 Rohingyas missing as trawler capsizes at sea

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At least 27 Rohingyas went missing when a motorboat carrying them capsized off the coast of Chittagong. The victims were fleeing the Bhashan Char Island.

Fishermen of some other trawlers managed to rescue 14 of the passengers of the motorboat, according to Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) office’s Additional Secretary Shah Rezwan Hayat on Saturday night.

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

Bhashan Char police station OC Md Rafiqul Islam said the Rohingya trawler carrying 40 Rohingyas 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, he said.

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.

"Despite search and rescue efforts, no bodies were found in the last 14 hours till 8pm Saturday," he added.

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

The relocation of Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar refugee camps to the camps at 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 Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district.