Capacity 50, carrying 200

Capsized launch salvaged; death toll reaches 9
Pankaj Karmakar
Despite having the approval of carrying 50 passengers, MV Madinar Alo that capsized in Shitalakhhya on Wednesday evening was carrying around 200.

Moreover, inefficiency of master and driver of the launch led to its prompt sinking, alleged Department of Shipping (DOS) officials.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the launch capsize rose to nine as the body of a woman passenger was found floating in the river near Char Muktarpur in Munshiganj yesterday.

The deceased was identified as Korbul Nesa, aged about 60, of Motlob in Chandpur district.

Salvage vessel MV Rustom of BIWTA towed the sunken ship to the shore in the morning. No more body was found inside the vessel, report our Munshiganj and Narayanganj correspondents.

The rescue operation was declared closed with the salvage of the sunken launch, said Munshiganj Deputy Commissioner Md Azizul Alam.

Eight people drowned and 35 went missing when Narayanganj-bound MV Madinar Alo from Chandpur sank after a head-on collision with oil tanker OT Shitalakkhya in the river near Char Muktarpur on Wednesday.

Police seized the oil tanker, said Shahidul Islam, officer-in charge of Munshiganj Sadar Police Station.

Narayanganj police arrested Faruque Hossain, master of the oil tanker, and his assistant Mizanur Rahman at noon after a case was filed in this connection.

According to the latest registration paper of MV Madinar Alo issued on October 3 last year, the capacity of the vessel was 50.

Witnesses and survivors, however, said the number of passengers on board of the launch was four times more than its capacity during the incident.

According to the Inland Shipping Ordinance-1976, authorities of all vessels have to mention the name of DOS-registered master and driver for its operation.

But the launch got permission without having any name of DOS-registered master and driver in the registration paper that is mandatory for every vessel.

It also got approval for plying during daylight on stable rivers. But violating its registration proviso, the launch way plying in the evening when the accident occurred, said a DOS ship surveyor.

Talking to The Daily Star, DOS Director General Commodore Jobair Ahmad said probe committees have been formed to investigate the incident. Disciplinary action will be taken if any irregularities are found, he added.

daily star

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