Minister says search to continue until all missing passengers foundThe modern technology-based rescue vessel Jarip 10 failed to trace the launch Pinak 6, which went under water of the river Padma near Mawa Ferry Terminal five days ago, even after a daylong frantic effort yesterday.
The death toll from the launch capsize has risen to 40 until yesterday. The number of missing people was still 126 on the government list.
The government, however, said the search for the sunken launch would continue until it was traced.
The Jarip 10 that joined the search team yesterday morning rummaged about a 10-kilometre area from the accident spot by using echo-sound system.
Another rescue vessel, Kandari 2, used sub-bottom profiling device on Thursday to locate the position of the sunken launch but in vain.
These two modern vessels are capable of operating in 70-foot-deep water.
Along with these two modern vessels, rescue vessel Shandhani of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), two ships of the Fire Service and Civil Defence Agnibinash and Agnishashok also conducted search operations by using ordinary method.
Bangladesh Navy Captain Nazrul Islam who is coordinating the rescue operation told the Dhaka Tribune that the Jarip 10 search was coming to an end and they would be able to give a decision on it.
When asked what he meant by the word “decision” he said: “If the search operation is successful, we will let you know and, if not, the launch [Pinak 6] might meet the fate of the Malaysian plane disappearance.
“We have already used the best technology we have and we have no more equipment left that we can use to locate the launch.”
When the officials of the search team failed to give any good news Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, however, expressed hope about the salvage of the launch.
He said the search would continue until and unless the launch and all missing people were found.
“We are using all modern technologies to find the missing launch and there is no stone left unturned,” the minister said.
After a meeting between high officials and the shipping minister, BIWTA Chairman Shamsuddoha Khandker told the Dhaka Tribune: “We searched for the launch in a 10-kilometre area from the accident spot yesterday and we will carry out an intensive search on Saturday in another 15-kilometre area.”
Meanwhile, seven more dead bodies of the launch capsize victims were recovered yesterday. Of them, five were recovered from Barisal and two others from Sureswar area of Shariatpur.
Only one of the victims could be identified. The bodies were kept at the primary school of Pachor area of Shibchar.
Of the total 40 dead bodies, only 23 were identified as of yesterday while 17 others were still unknown. Eleven of them were buried at the municipality graveyard of Shibchar of Madaripur.
Fariduddin, superintendent of police of Madaripur, told the Dhaka Tribune that they collected DNA samples of the dead bodies to match them with their relatives’ DNA if anyone comes to them.
About the latest recovered six bodies, GMM Jaforullah, deputy commissioner of Madaripur, said the bodies would be kept at the school until Saturday evening and if their identities cannot be determined by then, they will be buried following proper religious rituals.
Police have arrested none in connection with the launch capsize so far.
Tofazzel Hossain, officer-in-charge of Lauhoganj police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that they were trying their best to arrest people responsible for the accident.