7 drown as launch sinks in Patuakhali

7 drown as launch sinks in Patuakhali

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Seven bodies, including four of women and two of children, were recovered from Kolagachia river in Golachipa upazila after a launch capsized amid stormy weather on Saturday afternoon.   Five of the deceased were identified as Runia, 20, Rifat, 5, Nipu, 25, Monwara Begum, 50, and Lutfa Begum, 21.   Sub-inspector Fakhruddin of Golachipa Police Station said the seven bodies were recovered in the afternoon.   Besides, locals said, a total of 20 people were rescued as of filing of this report around 8 pm and some of them were sent to Galachipa Upazila Health Complex.   Some 15 passengers were said to have remained missing.   Witnesses said the launch, MV-Shathil-1,heading towards Patuakhali from Rangabali in the morning sank in the river, one kilometre away from Kolagachia ghat (terminal), around 2:30 pm.   According to a number of sources, the launch was carrying about 40 passengers on its journey toward Patuakhali, a figure could not be verified.   Thirty passengers managed to swim ashore while the rest went missing, said assistant director SM Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) of Patuakhali.   Following the launch accident, officials of the local administration and fire service and civil defence station together with local people were carrying out the rescue operation with boats and trawlers.   Officials at Patuakhali River Port told the UNB correspondent that rescue vessel ‘Rustom’ left Barisal for Golachipa to salvage the sunken launch.   Some survivors said the launch sank as it was caught by a violent storm.   Sensing that the launching was sinking, a number of the passengers jumped into the river and some of them managed to swim ashore.              – UNB

 

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