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29 killed as launch capsizes after collision in Dhaka

Launch ML Morning Bird, which capsized on Buriganga River Monday morning. Courtesy: Launch Spotters Bangladesh. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

DHAKA, Jun 29, 2020, Dhaka Tribune. Twenty nine bodies –18 men, eight women and three children — have been recovered as a launch named ML Morning Bird sank near the Farashganj ghat of Buriganga in Dhaka, Dhaka Tribune reported.

The incident happened around 9:33am on Monday, Fire Service headquarters control room In-charge Enayetur Rahman confirmed Dhaka Tribune.

Meanwhile, media reports, citing the CCTV footage fo the horrifying collision, have said that the incident took place at 9:13am.

Rojina Akhter, duty officer of the fire service headquarters, said ML Morning Bird was hit by another launch, Moyour-2, which was bigger than its size. The launch soon went under water.

Sadarghat Police Officer-in-Charge Rejaul Karim Vhuiyan said Morning Bird was coming from Kathpotti area of Munshiganj with around 50 to 60 passengers, when the other launch hit it.

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), fire service, river police, coast guard and Bangladesh Navy’s diving team are carrying out the rescue operation, he added.

Locals and eyewitnesses said the bigger launch hit the smaller one from the back. After the blow, ML Morning Bird took a turn and started drowning from the back. Some of the passengers managed to swim to the land.

They also said that accidents are common in ghats like this as launch and boats are docked here in a haphazard manner.

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