Two masters and two drivers of Mayur-2 launch, which hit a smaller vessel and caused it to sink and drown 34 people in the Buriganga, were responsible for the accident, a probe committee finds.
"They manifested a lack of skill in operating the launch [Mayur-2]," said a member of the body formed by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday.
"We did not hold the owner of Mayur-2 responsible as we found the accident happened due to fault in the vessel operations," he told The Daily Star, wishing anonymity.
The committee also made 16 recommendations to prevent such launch accidents in future, he said.
The recommendations include giving training to launch masters and drivers properly, installing modern technology at launches so that masters can get signals about the presence of nearby vessels earlier, and shifting a dockyard from Mirerbagh along Buriganga elsewhere as many launches anchor there to get them repaired, which may cause such accidents.
BIWTA Joint Director Zainul Abedin, who is leading the BIWTA-formed four-member committee, said they submitted the report yesterday.
But the authorities would get it today as they submitted the report after office hours, he added.
Meanwhile, a seven-member probe body, led by Shipping Ministry's Joint Secretary Rafiqul Islam Khan, was supposed to submit its report to the ministry yesterday.
"The committee will submit the report tonight [yesterday], and the state minister for shipping will brief the media about the findings of the report at 1:00pm tomorrow [today]," Shipping Secretary Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury told this correspondent last night.
On June 29, the accident happened when Mayur-2 slammed into Morning Brid in the Buriganga at the capital's Shyambazar.
The following day, Shamsul Alam, sub-inspector of Sadarghat River Police Station, filed a case with Keraniganj Dakshin Police Station accusing seven by name and many unnamed persons.
The seven accused are: Moyur-2 owner Mosaddek Hanif Swad, Abul Bashar Molla, second-class launch master, Jakir Hossain, third-class launch master, Shipon Hawlader, and Shakil Hasan, both second-class drivers, and two other staffers Nasir Mridha and Ridoy.
River police are investigating the case.
Contacted, Khandoker Faridul Islam, superintendent of police (Dhaka region) of River police, told this correspondent that they were trying their best, but could not arrest any of the accused till yesterday.