The government should carry on the search for the sunken launch Pinak-6 for a few more days and try till the end, environmental group Poribesh Bachao Andolan (Poba) said yesterday.
The search operation failed due to a lack of manpower and technology; so modern machinery should be used, said Abdus Subhan, Poba's executive general secretary, speaking at a press conference at its office in the capital.
Pinak-6 sank in the Padma river on August 4 while carrying around 200 passengers. About 46 bodies were recovered, 50 people survived, and the rest went missing. The government called off the search on Monday after eight days, considering bad weather and Padma's strong currents.
Earlier, Syed Monowar Hussain, joint general secretary of Poba, called for coordination between the shipping department and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to ensure accountability and transparency in the shipping sector. He said people of different sectors, instead of only those from the shipping ministry, should be engaged in the committees to investigate launch disasters.
According to the BIWTA records, 3,736 people died and 151 went missing in 179 vessel accidents across the country in the last 30 years from 1983 to 2014, said Hussain.
Meanwhile, the shipping ministry investigation team yesterday started recording depositions of witnesses and survivors of the Pinak-6 disaster, reports our Munshiganj correspondent. It took testimonies of 14 people on the first day.