Coco-4 capsized for overloading | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, December 17, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, December 17, 2009

Coco-4 capsized for overloading

Probe body also blames inefficiency of staff; similar report on Kishoreganj tragedy

The two inquiry committees, formed to investigate the recent ferry disasters in Bhola and Kishoreganj, made public their reports yesterday.
The probe body on Bhola launch capsize blamed overloading and carelessness of MV Coco-4 staff for the incident.
While the committee on Kishoreganj motorboat accident said lack of skill of the motorboat driver, carelessness of the staff and overloading caused the motorboat accident.
Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan disclosed the reports at the conference room of the ministry.
The Bhola report, submitted to the ministry on December 10, identifies seven reasons behind MV Coco-4 capsize in the river Tentulia in Bhola on November 27 that left 85 persons dead.
It says for collecting fares the Coco-4 crew locked its exit gate creating panic among the passengers.
As the passengers gathered on a side, the launch lost its balance. The crewmembers did not even moor the vessel at the terminal.
The report mentions that the Coco-4 starting from Sadarghat launch terminal picked excess passengers through boats in the middle of the journey.
The report, which made 19 recommendations, suggested taking action against the Coco-4 staff.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, according to the probe report's recommendation, will take action against some of the BIWTA staff on charge of false voyage declaration.
Voyage declaration affirms the actual number of passengers on board.
The committee also recommended speeding up the process of purchasing high capacity salvage vessels and increasing the number of salvage stations to reach the accident place quickly.
A four-member committee headed by Shipping Secretary Abdul Mannan Hawladar has been formed to scrutinise the recommendations and to submit a report in this regard within next 15 working days, said Shahjahan Khan. It will also suggest how to implement the action in phases.
The government on November 30 formed the seven-member inquiry committee headed by Joint Chief of the shipping ministry Jayanta Kumar Nandi, to investigate the tragic launch accident in Bhola.
Another committee headed by Joint Secretary (commerce) of shipping ministry Md Abdul Kuddus identified three reasons behind sinking of MV Al Helal-1 on December 4 in the River Daira in Kishoreganj and made 12 recommendations. At least 50 people died in the accident.
The report suggested taking legal action against the owner of the motorboat and two of its staff.

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