Bangladesh: Launch sinks with more than 100 passengers in Shitalakshya river, 5 bodies recovered

Dhaka, March 20 : A launch carrying more than 100 passengers sank in Shitalakshya river in Char Syedpur area of Narayanganj in Bangladesh on Sunday. Five bodies, including of a child, have been recovered in the incident. More casualties are being feared. The accident took place near the bridge of Alamin Nagar at Char Syedpur. At that time, 15-20 passengers were able to swim ashore, but the rest were missing. However, no one could immediately confirm exactly how many passengers were on the launch. Mohammad Johnny, a passenger of the launch, who witnessed the incident, said the launch sank immediately after being pushed from behind by a cargo ship named Ruposhi 9. “Later we saw many people swimming ashore, but many are still missing,” he added. The launch, named ML Ashraf Uddin, had about 70 passengers, all of whom were able to swim upstairs. However, none of the insiders were able to come out. Narayanganj Naval Police SP Meena Mahmuda said, “We have confirmed that the launch sank after being hit by a ship. We got the news and sent the police there.” Officer-in-charge (OC) of Narayanganj Naval Police Station Moniruzzaman said the launch was heading towards Munshiganj from Narayanganj Central Terminal Ghat. BIWTA Deputy Director (Naval Safety) Babu Lal Vaidya said many people were still missing. Narayanganj Fire Service Deputy Assistant Director Abdullah Al Arefin said the rescue team has reached the spot and started rescue operations. MAZ RJ

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