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Monday, August 4, 2014, Sraban 20, 1421, Shawal 7, 1435 Hijr


2 bodies recovered in Padma launch capsize
Our Correspondent
Publish Date : 2014-08-04,  Publish Time : 18:37,  View Count : 199
MUNSHIGANJ:  The bodies of two unidentified women were recovered while many people went missing as a launch with over 250 passengers on board capsized in the River Padma near Mawa Ghat in Lauhajang upazila on Monday.

Unofficial sources, however, claimed at least 14 bodies were recovered from the river.

Mawa police outpost SI Khalid Hossain said two bodies were recovered till 5pm while many are still missing. The identity of the dead women, aged between 25-30, could not be known.

Local divers and army personnel are conducting the rescue operation till filing of this report at 6:20pm.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan is monitoring the rescue operation. Communications Minister Obaidul Quader joined him at 6pm.

Munshiganj DC  Saiful Hasan Badal, BIWTA Chairman Dr Khandaker Shmsuddoha, Additional DIG of Dhaka range Shafiqul Islam, acting Police Super M Zakir Hossain Majumder and BIWTCA officials are also at the spot.

Mawa Highway Traffic Inspector Shahdat Hossain said the Mawa-bound "Pinak-6" launch caught in the strong current soon after sailing and sank in the mid-river at around 11am.

The overloaded launch, left from Kawrakandi ghat, met the tragic accident at Hajra point.Most of the passengers of MV Pinak-6  hailed from Madaripur, Shariatpur, Faridpur and Gopalganj districts.

It is not clear how many passengers are being carried by the accident-ridden launch and rescued.

However, officials in the district are giving contradictory information about the number of passengers of the launch.

BIWTA Assistant Manager Abdul Alim claimed Pinak- 6 capsized in the Padma river with 150 passengers on board around 11am. of them, 50 passengers were rescued so far, he said.

But, Louhajang Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Khalequzzaman said the launch was carrying over 300 passengers.

A helicopter of Rapid Action Battalion was hovering above the river while two platoon RAB members and a six-member Fire Service team have joined the rescue operation till evening.

Lal Mia, a speed boat owner, said strong current created a whirlpool in the river where the accident took place. Many passengers might have drowned even if they managed to come out of the vessel, he added.

A heart-rending situation has been created on the Mawa side as the grief-stricken relatives of the launch passengers have gathered there in search of their near and dear ones.

Salvage ship Rustom reached the spot at about 6pm, but could not locate the sunken launch till 7pm.

Meanwhile, the local administration prepared a list of deadths and missing passengers.

The administration have, so far,  listed names of 83 missing passengers.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given directives to ensure all-out efforts for conducting rescue operation in launch capsize incident in the river Padma on Monday.

She asked the Navy, RAB, Coastguard, Fire brigade, BIWTA and all concerned to work sincerely.

Meanwhile, two probe bodies were formed on Monday to investigate into the launch capsize incident.

The Shipping Ministry formed a seven-member committee and the Mercantile Marine Department formed a four-member committee.

Both the committees have been asked to submit their reports within the next 10 working days.
A heart-rending situation has been created on the Mawa side as the grief-stricken relatives of the launch passengers have gathered there in search of their near and dear ones.

CORR/LY

Last Updated 20:15 pm




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