Launch capsize toll now 9

Body of a woman was recovered Thursday morning from near launch capsize point in the Shitalakkhya river at Char Muktarpur in Munshiganj.

The recovery pushed the number of Wednesday’s capsize toll to nine.

Our Munshiganj correspondent reported that the body was found floating in the river near Shah Cement Factory at around 10:00am.

The identity of the woman, aged about 60, could not be known immediately.

Eight people drowned and 35 went missing after launch ‘ML Madina Alo’ sank around 7:00pm Wednesday after a collision with oil tanker ‘OT Shitalakkhya’ in the Shitalakkhya between Narayanganj and Munshiganj.

Meanwhile, Narayanganj sadar model police arrested Faruque Hossain, master of the oil tanker, and his assistant Mizanur Rahman in the noon after a case was filed in connection with the accident, our Narayanganj correspondent reports.
Relatives are seen looking for the bodies of their dear ones after the sunken launch was pulled on the bank of Shitalakkhya early Thursday. So far nine bodies were recovered.

Sub-inspector Moniruzzaman of Kalagachhiya armed police camp filed the case Wednesday night with Narayanganj Port Police Station.

The sunken launch was detected 40 feet under water near Shantinagar village in Bandar upazila of Narayanganj, Shahidul Islam, officer-in charge of Munshiganj Sadar Police Station, said.

Police seized the oil tanker, he added.

MV Rustom, a salvage vessel of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), towed the launch to the shore early Thursday, said Munshiganj Deputy Commissioner Md Azizul Alam. No more body was found in it.

The rescue operation was declared closed with the pulling up of the sunken launch, the DC added.

The BIWTA, immediately after the incident Wednesday, formed a three-member probe committee headed by Shafiqul Islam, chief engineer of audit section of Marine Mercantile Department.

The committee has been asked to submit its report in three days.

Locals and witnesses said ML Madina Alo from Matlab in Chandpur was heading towards Narayanganj.

Surviving passengers and Munshiganj Police Superintendent Shafiqul Islam claimed that over 200 passengers were aboard the launch during the collision.

daily star

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