Two siblings drowned in the Buriganga river yesterday as a boat capsized after being hit by a launch near the capital’s Sadarghat launch terminal.
The dead -- Mishkat Farazi, 12, and his sister Nusrat Akhter, 5 -- were children of Babul Farazi, a trader in Keraniganj, said Kazi Nazmuzzaman, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence.
Their mother Josna Begum and uncle Shamim Mirdha were also on the boat which was carrying them to Keraniganj, he added.
The boat sank near the Terminal-1 around 6:30am when a launch of MV Pubali-5 hit it while turning back, the fire service official added.
Josna and Shamim managed to swim to safety while the divers of fire service, coast guard and navy rescued the bodies after a six-hour effort, Nazmuzzaman also said.
A case was filed with South Keraniganj Police Station in this connection, said Shah Zaman, officer-in-charge of the police station.
This is not the first time such an incident happened in the Buriganga. Earlier on march 7, six of a family were went missing following a similar incident. Their bodies were recovered by fire service rescuers in the next three days.
Asked about taking action, Alamgir Kabir, joint director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority said they moved the ferry wharf 100 feet away from the launch terminal so that this kind of accident did not happen.
But a section of businessmen brought it back to the previous position, he added.
“It is not an accident, it is a murder and the businessman who were not allowing us to relocate the ferry ghat [wharf] are responsible for it,” he told The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, two girls drowned in Chhoto Jamuna River in Phulbari upazila of Dinajpur yesterday.
Pakhi Khatun, 7, was the daughter of Ayub Ali and Ammi Khatun, 5, was the daughter of Ramzan Ali from Razarampur village of Phulbari upazila, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.
Both were playing nearby the river since morning, said Mamunur Rashid Chowdhury, chairman of Shibnagar Union Parishad in the upazila.
A group of villagers discovered them floating on the river around 11:30am and rushed to Phulbari upazila Health Complex where doctors declared them dead, said the chairman.