Many people choose the launch journey to travel from the capital to Munshiganj. Most of the passengers on board the small double-decker launch MV Rabit Al Hasan, which left the Narayanganj launch dock on Sunday evening, are residents of Munshiganj Sadar. After the launch sank near Muktarpur Bridge, people gathered at Munshiganj launch dock to search for the missing relatives. Narayanganj Fire Service sources said the bodies of five female passengers of the sunken launch were recovered till 11:30 pm.
Some survivors of the sinking launch were brought to the Munshiganj launch dock. Shayer Ahmed, 25, a trainee doctor, said he was doing an internship at Bangladesh Medical College in the capital. His home is in Khalist area of Munshiganj city. Every day, after the duty of the hospital, he came to Narayanganj by bus and from there to Munshiganj by launch. The launch takes about 45 minutes from Narayanganj to Munshiganj. On Sunday evening he boarded a small launch called Rabit Al Hassan. When the boat approached the Muktarpur bridge, it was hit by a bulkhead from behind. The launch tilted. Doctor Shayer Ahmed quickly took off his pants, shirt and shoes and jumped into the river. Then he floated there for a while holding the pillar of the bridge under construction. He was later rescued.
Survivor Shayer Ahmed said the other day there were 50 to 60 passengers on the launch. However, there were more than a hundred passengers on the launch on Sunday evening. Many were returning to their villages in Munshiganj due to the lockdown.
Munshiganj launch ghat lessee Dil Mohammad Company said the launch had more passengers than any other day. He said there are a few less passengers on the launch the other day. There were more passengers on Sunday than that. The launch was coming just fine. Drowned by the push of the bulkhead from behind. Most of the passengers of the launch are residents of Munshiganj.
Passenger said the launch survived. Maruf (18) said that he works in a fish farm in Narayanganj. He was going to Munshiganj to catch a big launch to return home to his village home in Swarupkathi, Barisal due to lockdown. The launch named Rabit Al Hasan left Narayanganj launch ghat just before 6 pm. The launch reached Muktarpur Bridge at around 6.15 pm. At this time a large bulkhead is pushed from behind. Maruf was on the ground floor of the two-storey launch. When the launch tilted due to the push of the bulkhead, Maruf came out through the window. After the collision, the vessel floated for about half a minute, until it landed on the launch. Then many people from inside the launch hugged his legs. Somehow he crossed the bridge and floated on the pillar of the bridge under construction. He was later rescued. The teenager was regretting seeing so many people drowning in front of his eyes.
Many people have come to Munshiganj launch ghat in search of relatives. They were sitting on the bank of the river ahajari. One of them is Minu Begum (60). He said his daughter-in-law Bithi Akhter (25), granddaughter Arifa (1 year) and Bithi’s mother Wakida Begum (50) were at the launch. All their phones have been switched off since the accident. Child Arifa was taken to Popular in Narayanganj to see a doctor. Everyone is missing on the way back from there.
Bipasha Sarkar was looking for her husband Loknath Das (38). Bipasha said Loknath works in a gold shop in Munshiganj. Loknath went to Narayanganj for work around noon. After five o’clock he said he was returning to Munshiganj by launch. Loknath’s phone has been switched off since the accident. After that Bipasha was just shouting.
Nazma Begum was looking for Khala Baby Begum (50) and Khalu Solaiman (60). Their home is in Chardumuria area of Munshiganj Sadar. Solomon’s lung cancer. He was taken to Dhaka three days ago to undergo chemotherapy. He was returning home on Sunday after therapy. The girl picked him up from the port on a launch and called Nazma Begum. Shortly afterwards, Nazma Begum was called by her cousin and told that the launch had sunk.
The storm began to rain soon after the launch sank. The rescue operation was disrupted due to this, said Kabir Hossain, Inspector General of Police in charge of Muktarpur Naval Police Outpost. He said they did not have any specific information on the number of casualties or missing persons.