A lighter vessel carrying 950 tonnes of raw sugar capsized in the Bay of Bengal near Bhasanchar this morning.
One of its 12 crew members, identified as Gias Uddin, remains missing while the others were rescued by the staff of other lighter vessels in the area, our staff correspondent from Chattogram reports.
Rescue vessels of Bangladesh Navy are conducting a search for the missing crew, said an official of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).
The vessel MV AL Noor-1 was headed towards Narsingdi after loading imported raw sugar from a mother vessel at the outer anchorage of Chattogram Port, said BIWTA Deputy Director Mohammad Salim.
The vessel started sinking around six nautical miles from Bhasanchar around 9:30am when water entered the engine room after a crack developed at the bottom from strong water currents.
The goods were imported by Deshbondhu Group and were being carried to a sugar factory of the group at Polash upazilla under Narsingdi.
Staff of two lighter vessels -- MV Akij Logistics-27 and MV Success-33 -- which were crossing the area, rushed towards the sinking ship and managed to rescue the 11 crewmen.
Tajul Islam, master of MV Akij Logistics-27, told The Daily Star they rushed there upon hearing the radio message from the master of the sinking vessel. They were able to rescue the crewmen after three hours of effort in the rough water.
The vessel turned upside down and floated towards the coast of Thengarchar later, said the BIWTA DD, adding that they sent a letter to the vessel's owning firm Takwa Shipping Lines to salvage the vessel.