April 14, 2021, 8:19 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-04-05 16:28:55 BdST

Sitalakkhya launch capsize: death toll climbs to 27 with recovery of 22 more bodies

Twenty two more bodies were recovered from the sunken launch in the Sitalakkhya River, taking the total death toll from the tragic accident to 27.

Golam Maula Sadeque, chairman of Bangladesh Inland and Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said the divers of local fire service and coast guard managed to salvage the sunken launch with the help of salvage ship ‘Prattay’ and recovered 22 more bodies from the launch at noon.

However, eleven people still remained missing, said relatives of the missing victims.

The identities of the deceased could not be known immediately.

Meanwhile, the divers announced suspension of the salvage operation around 1:30 pm on Monday.

Earlier, bodies of five people were recovered after the launch capsized in the Sitalakkhya River on Sunday.

Dipak Chandra, Officer-in-charge of Banda Police Station, said divers managed to retrieve bodies of five women from the river around 1 am.

Five of the missing people are Anik Shaha, Bikash Shaha, Protima, Salma Begum and Soleman.

The launch carrying around 50 passengers sank in the Shitalakkhya River in Narayanganj when an oil-laden tanker hit Munshiganj-bound launch ML Rabit Al Hasan around 6 pm.

The launch capsized soon after the collision. Around 20 passengers managed to swim ashore.

Police said the oil tanker could not be seized as it did not stop after hitting the launch.

The local administration formed a seven-member probe body while BIWTA formed a four-member committee to look into the incident.

Sadar upazila UNO Nahid Barik visited the spot.

The bodies were handed over to the local administration.

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