The death toll from the launch capsize in the Shitalakkhya River on Sunday has climbed to 36 after the recovery of six more bodies. The bodies were recovered around 10am on Tuesday, confirmed Narayanganj Fire Service and Civil Defence Deputy Director Abdullah Al Arefin.
Earlier, five bodies were recovered on Sunday while the Navy, Coast Guard, fire service and police recovered a total of 25 bodies on Monday. Of the 30 bodies recovered till 4:30pm on Monday, 16 were women, nine men and five children.
Around 7pm on Sunday, the passenger vessel, ML Sabit Al Hasan, sank after colliding with the cargo ship, SKL-3, at the mouth of the Syedpur Koyla Ghat on the Shitalakkhya River in Munshiganj. Police and onlookers said the cargo vessel fled the scene after the collision.
The launch had an estimated 150 passengers. Port Police Officer-in-Charge (OC) Deepak Chandra Saha confirmed that 50-60 of them were able to swim to the two banks, but three of them had to be rushed to the hospital.
Mrinal Kanti Das, MP of Munshiganj Sadar constituency, said that boat accidents are continuously occuring on the Shitalakshya river. And most of the people who lose their lives are from Munshiganj.
Everybody only pays attention when a big accident happens. He said: "I have also spoken about this in the National Assembly but accidents have not stopped."
He demanded the administration to stop anchoring lighter ships in the Shitalakshya naval channel and take permanent measures to prevent accidents.
Narayanganj Deputy Commissioner Mostain Billah said a seven-member probe committee headed by Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Kharija Tahera Bobby has been formed to investigate the incident.
He also said, the bodies have been handed over to the families and the district administration granted Tk25,000 to each of the deceased’s family for the burial process.
Besides, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) formed a four-member investigation committee, led by BIWTA director (Maritime Security) Rafiqul Islam, as per the direction of BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq.