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At least 10 dead in Barisal launch capsize

  • Published at 02:01 pm September 21st, 2016
  • Last updated at 06:16 pm September 21st, 2016
At least 10 dead in Barisal launch capsize

Bodies of 10 people have been recovered from the Sandhya River after an overcrowded passenger vessel went down with more than 60 people on board, police say.

Most of the passengers managed to swim ashore but some 15 people are still missing, Banaripara police's Officer-in-Charge Ziaul Ahsan said.

Passenger vessel NL Oishi, which operates on the Banaripara-Swarupkathi route, sank at Dasherhaat Point around 11:30am on Wednesday, Barisal police chief SM Aktaruzzaman said.

Mostafizur Rahman, the district's port officer, said the launch did not have route permit.

Nine of the victims have been identified as Kohinur Begum, 60, Rabeya Khatun, 40, Rehana Begu, Heera Begum, 22, Firoza Begum, 50, Sukhdeb Mallik, 40, Mozammel Molla, 60, Joynal Hawlader, 62, and Sagar Meer, 44. The tenth victim is a boy believed to be aged below 10.

SP Aktaruzzaman said the vessel, carrying at least 60 passengers, tilted sideways due to strong current near Syedkathi union's Masjidbari boat terminal before it could moor.

Barisal Deputy Commissioner Gazi Saifuzzaman said a five-member committee has been formed to investigate the incident.

Rescuers have been scouring the river and conducting underwater search for survivors and bodies. Barisal Fire Service Station's Assistant Director Faruk Hossain Sikder said the strong tide was hampering the rescue work.