Friday, 8 August 2014

33 dead, 131 still missing after Bangladesh ferry capsized

The confirmed number of dead in the Bangladesh ferry disaster is climbing steadily as rescuers recover the bodies of more victims far away from the site where the vessel sank four days earlier.

"The death toll of Monday's ferry capsizal has climbed to 33 on Thursday night after more than a dozen bodies were retrieved since morning," said Kaniz Fatema, an assistant superintendent of police in central Bangladesh district Munshiganj.

She said the number of missing persons has increased to 131 as of Thursday night.

The overloaded ferry Pinak-6, with some 250 passengers on board, capsized in Padma, one of the three rivers that form the Ganges Delta, at around 11:15 a.m. local time Monday in high winds and waves amid inclement weather.

After giving up hope of getting their relative back alive, most families of the missing passengers have already started searching for floating bodies in Chandpur, Barisal, Bhola and other areas in the Bay of Bengal on their own.

A very few of the relatives were seen at the Mawa ferry terminal yesterday as the authority concerned is yet to trace the sunken launch, Pinak 6, even four days after the accident.

As over a hundred passengers still remain unaccounted for, their families started searching for missing bodies by hiring trawlers in different areas where most of the bodies were found earlier.

It was alleged that most of the bodies drifted out with the strong current in the Padma. As of yesterday, the rescuers had recovered a total of 33 bodies, mostly from other districts.

The administration yesterday recovered 12 more bodies from rivers in Bhola, Shariatpur, Barisal, Madaripur and Lakshmipur.

Relatives and locals in Mawa told the Dhaka Tribune that most of the relatives are now gathering at the Pachchar Primary School ground in Madaripur where the district administration is keeping the bodies that are recovered by rescuers.

On the school premises, several hundred relatives were seen waiting for news about their dear ones in the evening while some were holding up photos of their missing relatives.

Jahid Matubbar had lost seven of his family members and relatives, but he had found only one body that of his niece Faiza.

“They (rescuers) have recovered the body from Bhola. We do not think that they can find any more bodies. So, I have asked my relatives to go to Bhola, Barisal and Chandpur points and search for others, hiring trawlers,” he told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

He said the families of the ill-fated passengers are now waiting at Pachchar in Madaripur as they have lost their confidence in the authorities working at Mawa ferry terminal.

Ali Jabbar, who lost his wife and daughter in the accident, said: “As like today (Thursday), I used to search Chandpur area with a trawler as the lack of initiatives for rescuing the bodies taken by the authorities concerned is quite clear,” he said.

Along with Jahid and Jabbar, several hundred families were searching for bodies in different areas, including Kawrakandi in Madaripur, Naria in Shariatpur, Haimchar in Chandpur, according to Dhaka Tribune correspondents.

Madaripur Deputy Commissioner GSM Jafarullah confirmed to Dhaka Tribune that relatives were searching for bodies in the Bay of Bengal and also Shibchar area.

“We have received 23 bodies and 12 of them were handed over to their relatives after identification. Meanwhile, three other bodies were received by the relatives mid way while they were coming to Madaripur from different areas including Bhola. Relatives, who were searching for the bodies of their near ones have taken three bodies midway,” he said at 8:00 pm.

When a body was being brought to the Pachchar Primary School ground, all relatives were running to see if the body recovered was of their near and dear ones.

Meanwhile, relatives staged protests in Madaripur with the only demand of- “return the bodies of near ones”.

Shahidul Islam, a survivor of the accident who has been roaming in the area for last four days to get her relative’s body said: “I have lost my pregnant wife, Ayesha Akhter, and daughter, Sarah Moni, in the accident. How I can live without them. Please give their bodies or kill me.”

Friday 08 July 2014


Post a Comment