Three days after a boat capsized on the Karatoya river in the northern district of Panchagarh in Bangladesh, rescue operations are still on for three people, including a woman, who reportedly went missing after the boat sank in the middle of the river. So far, 69 bodies have been recovered, including one on Wednesday, confirmed the local administration.
On September 25, people from the Hindu community were going from Aulia Ghat towards Badheshwar temple to offer prayers on the occasion of Mahalaya when the boat overturned in the middle of the river due to overcrowding. According to locals and rescued passengers, over 50 people had taken the boat.
Meanwhile, the investigation committee of the district administration formed to probe the incident will take another three days to submit its report.
Additional district magistrate and head of the investigation committee Dipankar Roy said he, along with other members of the committee, were supervising a lot of things such as monitoring the rescue activities, handing over the bodies to the families and assisting in cremation. Because of this, there has been some disruption in the investigation process. Panchagarh district magistrate Mohammed Zahurul Islam confirmed the matter.
According to the emergency information and support center of the district administration established at the Marea Union Parishad office, 69 bodies recovered till Wednesday evening have been handed over to the respective families.
GOVT TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO KIN OF DECEASED
Railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan visited the accident spot in Auliar Ghat area under Maria Union Parishad of Boda Upazila (an administrative region in Bangladesh functioning as a sub-unit of a district) on Tuesday to take stock of the situation.
While addressing reporters, the minister assured support to kin of all those who died in the boat capsize incident. “The family members of the deceased will be given necessary assistance,” he said.
Terming the boat capsize as an accident, the minister further said, “All preparations have been made for the construction of a bridge over Karotoya in Aulia Ghat area. The project has also been approved. Once a bridge is in place, there will not be such loss of lives.”
OVER 3,000 KILLED IN 5 YEARS
Between 2018 and 2022, there have been 3,500 accidents in Bangladesh involving launches and ships, which have claimed more than 3,000 lives.
Stakeholders said overcrowding, lack of fitness of the boats, bad weather and unskilled drivers are the reasons why there are so many accidents involving launches and boats.
The biggest accident in the history of Bangladesh occurred on July 8, 2003. A launch named MV Nasrin-1, which was going from Dhaka to Lalmohan in Bhola, sank in the estuary of the Meghna and Dakatiya rivers in Chandpur. The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority said the floor of the launch broke due to the excess weight of the cargo and passengers. At least 500 people among the 1,000 passengers aboard the launch lost their lives in the incident.
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