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Dhaka Tribune

River police files case against 7 people over Buriganga launch capsize

At least 32 people were killed in Monday's incident

Update : 30 Jun 2020, 09:01 AM

A case has been filed against seven people and several unknown others at South Keraniganj police station in connection with Monday's launch capsize in the Buriganga River.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (Dhaka zone) Abul Kalam Azad of the river police said they filed the case early Tuesday.

Mosaddek Hanif Soad, the owner of Mayur-2 launch -- which had crashed into smaller ML Morning Bird and downed it, is among the seven accused.

"We are trying to arrest the accused," Azad added.

Also Read- Horrific launch collision leaves 32 dead on Buriganga

Rejaul Karim Bhuiyan, the OC of Sadarghat river police, told Dhaka Tribune Sub-Inspector Shamsul Alam filed the case against the seven under Sections 280, 304 (Ka), 437, and 34 of the Penal Code.

'Apart from Soad, the six other accused named in the case were members of Mayur-2 launch's crew. They were identified as Master Abul Bashar, Master Zakir Hossain, driver Shipon Hawlader, Shakil Hossain, Hridoy and Sukani Nasir Mridha, Rejaul said.

He added that five or six other unidentified individuals were also accused in the case.

At least 32 people were killed on Monday morning when Morning Bird, coming from Munshiganj, sank in the Buriganga after the larger one -- Mayur 2 -- in reverse horrifically crashed into it near Farashganj Ghat in Dhaka.

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury observed that the launch accident seemed "premeditated."

At the time of the capsize, 9:13am, Morning Bird — which could carry 125 people — was either carrying 50-60 or 70-80 passengers, survivors and officials in Munshiganj and Dhaka said later. No one was quite sure, though.

As footage from a CCTV camera revealed and according to the authorities and witnesses in Sadarghat on the other side of the river, the Morning Bird capsized in seconds after Mayur 2 crashed into it while travelling backwards.

Also Read- Divers rescue man alive from sunken launch in Buriganga after 13 hours

The three-deck Mayur 2 was on its way to dock at Sadarghat's terminal for Chandpur-bound vessels after unloading passengers at the Lalkuthi terminal.

All 32 bodies — 21 men, eight women and three children — were recovered from the river soon after the incident.

OC Rejaul said all bodies were identified and handed over to their families from the morgue at Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital.

Citing witnesses and rescuers, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq said at least 20 passengers of the Morning Bird managed to swim ashore after the vessel sank.

BIWTA and the Shipping Ministry have formed two committees to investigate the incident.

The BIWTA probe team was given 72 hours to submit its findings, while the other team was given seven days.

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