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Monday, February 23, 2015, Falgun 11, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 3, 1436 Hijr

Padma launch capsize
Death toll rises to 69; rescue operation called off
Observer Online Desk
Published : Monday, 23 February, 2015,  Time : 12:42 PM,  View Count : 40
Manikganj: With the death toll in the Padma launch capsize reaching 69 on Monday morning, the local administration called it quits.

Deputy commissioner Rasheda Ferdous said to the reporters at a press briefing near the capsize spot around 10am that they called off the rescue operation as there was ‘no one left missing from the list’.

However, rescue operation will be carried out in adjacent areas of the river, the DC said.

The death toll from the Sunday’s launch capsize in the Padma River in Shibalaya upazila rose to 69 with the recovery of 28 more bodies on Monday.

Till Sunday night, 41 bodies were recovered as a launch with over a hundred passengers on board sank in the Padma River.

The deceased included 22 men, 21 women and 14 children, hailed from different areas of Rajbari, Kushtia, Manikganj, Norail, Dhaka, Faridpur, Nilfamari and Gopalganj districts.

The local administration has already handed over fifty-seven dead bodies to the family members concerned.

The unidentified bodies will be sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) morgue.

Meanwhile, salvage vessel ‘Rustom’, which reached the capsize spot on Sunday night, managed to pull the sunken vessel to the shore around 4am.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan visited the spot and announced a compensation of Tk 1.05 lakh to each family of the deceased.

Besides, the local administration will give an amount of Tk 20,000 to each family of the victims on behalf of the district administration.

The launch, ‘MV Mostafa’, sank in the mid-river around 11:45am after it was hit by a fertilizer-laden cargo vessel, ‘Nargis-1’, while it was heading towards Daulatdia ferry ghat from Paturia ghat, said Enamul Haque, an official at Aricha River Port.

Police arrested three crew of the cargo vessel - Shahidul Islam, Shahinur Rahman and Jahurul Islam - in this connection. The master of the vessel, Iqbal Hossain, went into hiding.

Meanwhile, the Mercantile Marine Department under the Shipping Ministry formed a three-member probe body to investigate the incident.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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