April 17, 2021

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Launch sinks in winter: Death toll rises to 29, 6 missing

The bodies of 29 people, including women and children, have been recovered after a passenger launch sank in the Shitalakshya river in Narayanganj; The administration said seven people were still missing.

The identities of the 29 people killed were not immediately known. The fire service is identifying the dead and the bodies are being handed over to the families.

The sunken launch was recovered around 12:15 pm on Monday (April 5). Rescuers then began removing the body from inside the launch.

Commodore Golam Sadeq, chairman of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said the bodies had been handed over to the fire service after the rescue operation. After identification, they will hand over the body to the family members.

Saleh Uddin, Dhaka Assistant Director of Fire Service and Civil Defense, said, “Even if the district administration announces the end, our activities will continue till the afternoon.” We have already recovered 29 bodies.

Deputy Commissioner Mostain Billah said a search operation was being carried out in the river in search of the missing. At the same time, the naval police have been directed to find the lighter ship responsible for the accident and bring it under the law.

Earlier on Sunday (April 4), a launch named Sabit Al Asad sank in the Koylaghat area of ​​Sadar Upazila after being hit by a cargo ship.

Narayanganj River Port Deputy Director Mubarak Hossain said the launch was heading towards Munshiganj with more than 50 passengers at around 7.30 pm. At that time, another cargo ship was pushed near the bridge in Koylaghat area and the launch sank with more than 50 passengers. The bodies of 5 women were recovered on the night of the incident. However, after lifting the launch at noon, one body after another floated from inside the launch. The divers also recovered the bodies of three people, including two children, at 7.30 pm. So far 29 bodies have been found.

Sadar UNO Nahida said the district administration had given Tk 25,000 to each family killed for burying the body.

He said the river was still being searched for seven missing people.

At 9:20 pm on Sunday (April 5), a mild earthquake was felt in several northern districts, including the capital Dhaka, Panchagarh and Naogaon.

Zahirul Haque, an assistant at the Dhaka Meteorological Department’s seismic observation center, confirmed the matter to the media.

He said the magnitude of the earthquake was 5.1 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was reported at Bhutan, 403 km northwest of Dhaka. The quake affected Panchagarh and other parts of the country.

Rangpur Meteorological Office in-charge Mostafizur Rahman told the media that the magnitude of the earthquake was 5.1 on the Richter scale. It originated in the Sikkim region of Bhutan.

Rangpur Meteorological Office in-charge Mostafizur Rahman said the quake was felt in Rangpur district and adjoining Kurigram, Thakurgaon. No damage was reported from the six-second quake.

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