Middle East

A fire broke out on a Bangladesh ferry, killing 40 people

Dhaka: At least 40 people were killed and more than 150 were injured early Friday after a packed three-story ferry with about 800 passengers ignited on the Suganda River in southern Bangladesh, officials said. The river crossed.

Police and fire officials said the fire broke out in the engine room of the MV Abhijan-10 launch to Barguna, which began its journey from Dhaka around 3 am (local time) on Friday, with no other passenger scores. ..

Officials familiar with the rescue campaign said 40 people were killed in the fire, including nine people were drowned, but some private television channels reported an accident in the southern part of the Jhalakathi district, 250 kilometers from the capital Dhaka. Reported 41 deaths due to.

“The rescue campaign is still underway. We can update the casualties later,” a district official told reporters.

According to records, 310 passengers were traveling by ferry, but the actual number seems to have been much higher.

He said three separate investigations were undertaken to find out the background and other details of the pre-dawn accident.

Doctors at the Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in the adjacent Barishal district said they are currently treating 70 people, and fire officials said an additional 50 people are being treated at other medical facilities. ..

Coast Guard, fire brigade, and police personnel are leading a search campaign for rivers in three downstream districts. The accident happened at the confluence of the river, and many people rushed to the riverbanks and hospitals to find relatives.

“Most people were burned or killed at the stake due to hot smoke breathing problems because they were trapped inside the ship. Many passengers jumped into the river, but some were unable to land or be rescued. , Said fire officials.

Another fire official said earlier that many passengers were asleep due to the fire, some died by inhaling smoke, some were burned at the stake, and some were drowned.

Witnesses told reporters that a passenger ferry called the launch in Bangladesh was carrying more passengers than capacity, and most of them were visiting the house to spend more time with their families on extended weekends. rice field.

Authorities ordered an investigation to determine the cause of the fire. A committee of seven members was formed and was tasked with submitting a report within three days. Rescuers are afraid that the death toll may increase as more passengers are injured in the pre-dawn fire.

The fire lasted for about three hours, and many passengers desperately jumped into the river to save their lives. Survivors were full of passengers at the launch, bdnews24.com reported.

The manager of the Patharghata subdistrict Muhammad Hossainn Mohammad Al Mozahid in Barguna was one of the launch passengers traveling in the VIP cabin with his wife.

“Suddenly heavy smoke began to cause us breathing problems … everyone screamed and rushed to the exit gate, some jumping into the river, he said.

He said the captain of the launch piloted the ship into a nearby shallow water, where he disembarked with many other passengers, many of whom remained trapped inside to await death.

“The launch engine room suddenly ignited around 3 am and expanded rapidly when the ship was near the Gabukan Bridge. Another survivor, Saidur Rahman, reportedly told the Daily Star. increase.

“There were many passengers, including children and the elderly. Many of them were able to dive into the river and land,” he said.

It smelled fiery and came out of the VIP cabin and I knew there was a fire. Then I, my wife and brother-in-law, jumped into the cold water and swam into the bank, he added.

The fire control room in the statement said that 15 fire brigades, led by Deputy Director of the Barishal Fire Department, Kamal Udin Buiyan, rushed to the scene after receiving information at 3.50 am and controlled the flames at 5:20 am. ..

Mr. Buyan, deputy director of the Barishal Fire Department, who led the response, said he suspected that the fire had started in the engine room of the launch site.

“After receiving the information, 15 fire brigades, led by Kamal Udin Buyan, Deputy Director of the Barrisal District Fire Department and Civil Defense Department, went to the scene at 3:50 am and fired at 5:20 am. Was crushed, “said the statement. ..

This accident was the latest in a similar incident in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a small country where a network of about 230 rivers of various sizes and shapes intersect. These channels cover almost 7 percent of the country’s total area.

At least 26 people were killed in an overloaded speedboat allegedly driven by a minor boy who overturned in Bangladesh after colliding with a sand-laden ship in May this year.

Last June, a ferry carrying more than 100 passengers was attacked by another ferry on the Briganga River in Bangladesh, killing at least 32 people. In February 2015, a crowded ship collided with a cargo ship, killing at least 78 people.

https://www.siasat.com/40-people-dead-after-fire-breaks-out-on-ferry-in-bangladesh-2247247/ A fire broke out on a Bangladesh ferry, killing 40 people

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