Two traders drowned in the Karkhana river as a Patuakhali-bound double-decker launch from Dhaka hit a buffalo-laden trawler in Sontoshdee area under Dumki upazila of the district yesterday.
The victims were buffalo traders Md Monir Hossain, 40, son of Khorshed Hossain, and Nur Alam, 65, son of Mofijur Rahman of Laxmipur district.
The bodies were sent to Patuakhali General Hospital for autopsy, said Md Moniruzzaman, officer in charge of Dumki Police Station.
A buffalo trader, Md Elias, who was also in the trawler, said their trawler was going to Laxmipur district town from Patuakhali’s Galachipa area.
When the trawler was crossing Sontoshdee area, the launch hit it around 3:30am. At the time, three buffalo traders fell into the river. Of them, Abdul Khaleq managed to swim ashore while the duo went missing, said Elias.
Firefighters rescued the bodies from the water around 11:00am, said Md Jafarullah, chairman of Muradia Union Parishad in the upazila.
Md Kabir Hossain, driver of the launch, said they did not hit any trawler in the river.
Khwaja Sadiqur Rahman, assistant director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority in the district, said four double-decker launches come to Patuakhali from Dhaka through the route regularly. So they are not sure which launch is responsible for the accident.
They will take necessary steps after proper investigation, said Sadiqur Rahman.