• Friday, November 28, 2014

Launch capsize death toll climbs to 32

Rescuers yet to locate sunken launch

Star Online Report
Rescue team members with speedboats are searching for missing victims Wednesday afternoon in Pinak-6 launch capsize in the Padma river of Lauhajang upazila in Munshiganj. Photo: STAR
Rescue team members with speedboats are searching for missing victims in Pinak-6 launch capsize Wednesday afternoon. The launch with 200 passengers onboard sank in the Padma river of Lauhajang upazila in Munshiganj Monday. Photo: STAR
Rescuers retrieved bodies of 10 more victims from four different districts in Padma and its adjoining rivers today, raising the death toll from Monday’s launch capsize to 32.

Of them, at least 16 bodies have already been handed over to their relatives and the rest of the bodies have been kept at the ground of Pachchar Primary School.

Around 132 people are still missing, reports our Munshiganj correspondent quoting the report of the police control room set up at Mawa Ghat after the incident.

Of the 10 bodies, four were recovered from Barisal, three from Bhola, two from Shariatpur and one from Madaripur. All were the victims of the launch capsize in Padma River on last Monday, Shaiful Islam, deputy commissioner in Munshiganj told The Daily Star.

Of the total 32, nine were recovered from Bhola, eight from Shariatpur, four each from Barisal and Chandpur, one each from Maxmipur and Madaripur and three from Munshiganj, according to the report of police control room at Mawa Ghat.    

Survey ship Kandari-2 started the operation yesterday midnight but it is yet to locate the ill-fated launch till filing this report at 4:00pm, reports our district correspondent.

The Pinak-6 launch capsized in Padma in Lauhajang upazila of Munshiganj with over 200 passengers on board Monday.

The rescuers recovered the body of a woman around 7:30am floating in the river where Pinak-6 sank on Monday, said Md Saiful Hasan Badal, deputy commissioner Munshigan.

Rescuers from Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, the navy, police, coast guard, fire service and district administration jointly are operating the rescue operation.

Since Tuesday night, the rescue teams have been conducting an intensive search covering an area of six kilometres, but all to no avail.

On the other hand, rescue vessels Nirvik and Rustom cannot start their work till today as the sunken launch yet to be located.

Family members and relatives of the missing people expressed their frustration at what they said was the government's inept handling of the situation. They had given up hope of seeing their loved ones alive, but they wished to get at least the bodies.

The double-decker vessel Pinak-6, which was on its way to Mawa from Kewrakandi, was carrying more than 200 passengers against a capacity of 85. It sank in the face of strong waves and high winds in the mighty river near Louhajang around 11:00am on Monday.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday said that a joint intensive search was carried out with side-scan SONAR machines, and it would continue until the launch was located.

The survey vessel can locate a sunken launch even if it is covered in silt, the minister said yesterday. 

Published: 11:09 am Thursday, August 07, 2014

Last modified: 9:05 pm Thursday, August 07, 2014

TAGS: Munshiganj launch capsize death toll Pinak-6 Padma river

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