26 killed in Bangladesh boat accident

Published May 4, 2021 - Updated May 4, 2021 06:34am
THE speedboat is seen ashore after it sank on Padma River near Madaripur.—Reuters
THE speedboat is seen ashore after it sank on Padma River near Madaripur.—Reuters

DHAKA: At least 26 people were killed when a speedboat packed with passengers collided with a vessel transporting sand on Monday in the latest maritime disaster to hit Bangladesh.

Police said the speedboat carrying about three dozen passengers from the town of Mawa rammed into the other vessel in the Padma river as it neared the main river station in the central rural town of Shibchar.

“We have so far recovered 26 bodies including a woman. We have also rescued five injured people including three children,” police official Amir Hossain said.

Hossain said the bow of the passenger boat was destroyed when the speedboat smashed into the side of the transport vessel, sinking in the river in minutes.

“Police, the fire brigade and army rescue teams are on the spot, conducting search and rescue work,” he said.

Witness Abdur Rahman said there was a loud noise when the boats collided and the vessels then overturned.

“When we rushed to the spot we found the speedboat torn into two pieces.

Hundreds of villagers immediately started conducting rescue work before they were joined by police and the fire brigade,” he said.

Bangladesh is building the country’s largest road and railway bridge near the accident spot and police said officers were immediately at the scene.

Construction work has slowed ferry transport on the river, prompting many to take the journey on less safe speedboats, which take only about 15 minutes to make the crossing in contrast to up to two hours on safer ferries.

The government administrator of Shibchar district said up to five people were believed to be missing.

He said the driver of the speedboat would be investigated as he appeared to have hit the transport vessel, which was moored at the time. “A probe has been ordered into the accident,” he said.

Maritime accidents are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2021

Opinion

Trouble in Camelot
Updated 06 May 2021

Trouble in Camelot

The electorate knows better than to swallow the government’s rhetoric.
Time to wake up
Updated 05 May 2021

Time to wake up

The criticism reflects our failure to counter rising religious intolerance and bigotry, and also exposes a diplomatic debacle.

Editorial

Proceed with caution
Updated 06 May 2021

Proceed with caution

The slightest loosening of SOP protocols could send us hurling in the direction where India finds itself today.
06 May 2021

IPP dues

THE ECC decision to pay the first tranche of outstanding dues of one set of IPPs, and further delay the payments of...
06 May 2021

Violence against doctors

HEALTHCARE workers and doctors’ associations in two major hospitals of KP are adamant that the KP Healthcare...
05 May 2021

Path of growth

FINANCE MINISTER Shaukat Tarin finally specified the future direction that the country’s economic policy will take...
05 May 2021

Human rights 2020

THE human rights situation in Pakistan, almost predictably bleak every year, was deeply impacted in 2020 by an...
Unreasonable behaviour
Updated 05 May 2021

Unreasonable behaviour

Usman Buzdar should reprimand Dr Awan for her coarse behaviour and make sure she tenders a public apology.