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18 more bodies recovered

Karatoya boat capsize toll rises to 68

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 28 September, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Eighteen more bodies were recovered on Tuesday, raising the death toll in the tragic boat capsize in Panchagarh to 68.

The bodies were found in the Karatoya and Atrai rivers in Panchagarh and Dinajpur.

Local administration said the rescue operation was underway to trace the missing passengers.

The latest bodies were identified as Shylbala, 51, Soneka Rani, 55, Harkishore, 45, Shiltu Barman, 32, Mohen Chandra, 30, Bhumikar Roy Puja, 15, Ankhi Rani, 15,  Sumi Rani, 38, Palash Chandra, 15, Driti Rani, 10, Sajib Roy, 10, Putul, 15,  Kabita, 9, Ratna, 40,  Molindra, 56, Moni Bhusan, 46 and Monika, 36.

Assistant Deputy Director of Panchagarh Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) Mahbubul Islam informed this and said that rescuers would continue search operations to find out if there was any body.

Meanwhile, the probe committee conducted inquiry into the tragic incident on the waterway.

Additional District Magistrate Dipankar Roy, also chief of the committee, said they would submit their report to the deputy commissioner anytime on Tuesday.        On the findings, he said that the engine-driven-boat sank due to overload.

“We have collected videos on the incident and talked to eyewitnesses and rescuers. What decision we have arrived is the boat capsized due to overload,” he said.

Local people said that the boatmen and the ghat leasees were mostly responsible for the overloading of the passengers.

They said that the leasees did not pay any heed to the safe journey of the passengers despite being well known of huge crowds during Durga Puja every year.

Jahurul Islam, deputy commissioner of Panchagarh, told the Daily Sun that they handed over all the recovered bodies to their family members.

On the Awalia Ghat where the boat carrying passengers far beyond its capacity sank, the DC said, “People cruise the ghat by boats. As there was Mahalaya on the incident, the number of people was more than usual days.”

He said, “The Karatoya River is called knee-deep water river. It remains calm, but there was huge current in the river on the day due to rain.”

The Karatoya has now become a name of panic especially among the people who swam to survive and lost their dear and near ones.

The huge current due to onrush of upstream water accompanied by rain in it came down to a bit on Tuesday, the second day of the tragic incident.

Like previous two days, the river bank was crowded with the family members and relatives of the missing people.

They were moving from the river to the Boda Upazila Health Complex in a search for their dead and near ones.

Railway Minister Advocate Nurul Islam Sujon said that he would compensate the family members of the deceased in the boat tragedy.

He came up with the announcement while visiting the tragic area on Tuesday.

Hindu Religious Welfare Trust paid Tk 25,000 to each of 45 deceased families in the presence of the minister.

At about 2:30pm on Sunday, the boat with about 150 passengers, mostly Hindu pilgrims, aboard capsized soon after it sailed for Badeshwari Temple in Debiganj from Awalia Ghat in Boda.

On the first day, 25 bodies were recovered in the river. Rescuers recovered 25 bodies on Monday.