AFP / Jhalkathi, Bangladesh
At least 37 people died in Inferno yesterday on a crowded night ferry in Bangladesh, horrified passengers jumped outboard, and dozens of people, including children, were still unexplained.
A recent maritime tragedy that struck a poor lowland country saw passengers burning through a three-story ship while they were sleeping on board.
In the light, rescue workers combed the wreckage of a ship that was still smoking and burnt, removing the corpse wrapped in white plastic while distraught relatives were waiting for news on the muddy riverbank.
“I just found the body of my mother-in-law. She jumped into the river and drowned. I don’t know what happened to my wife and children,” said Mohamed Russell on the riverbank near Jhalkathi, 250 km south of Dhaka. .. “I searched for a hospital. My wife and children weren’t there. I hope they jumped into the river and survived,” he said.
Mohammed Ismail, 48, said he threw his mother into a “very cold” river and dragged him to the shore, but when he returned to the fishing boat, his wife and daughter were nowhere to be found.
“I saw a person burning in flames,” he said. “My other daughter survived after someone threw her into the river.”
“My father, I, my 6-month-old nephew, and my sister were traveling together. When the fire broke out, I gave the baby to a man. He was trying to save the baby. I can’t find them anymore, “said a female survivor.
According to witnesses, the fire broke out in the engine room and may have already ignited when the ship left Dhaka late Thursday.
He had a license to carry 420 people, but survivors said it was overcrowded.
One official estimated that up to 700 passengers were on board when they left Dhaka. “We were sleeping on the mats on the deck on the ground floor. All the passengers were sleeping. My 9-year-old grandson, Nayeem, was with me and he jumped into the river. What to him? I don’t know if that happened, “said the elderly grandmother.
Local police chief Moinul Islam said the death toll could increase further as an unknown number of people jumped outboard.
“We sent about 100 burned people to a hospital in Barishal,” Islam said. “The fire lasted four or five hours before it was extinguished. The whole (ferry) was burned down, but they managed to bring it to the shore,” said local district manager Joher.・ Ali said.
“It’s a new ship. It was built in 2019 and fitness was cleared until 2022,” said Golam Sadek, head of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority.
170 million South Asian country experts have blamed poor maintenance, loose safety standards at shipyards, and very often overcrowding of such tragedy.
In August, a ship carrying passengers collided with a cargo ship loaded with sand, killing at least 21 people. In April and May, 54 people died in two separate accidents.
Last updated: December 25, 2021 0:42 am
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/706829/37-people-killed-in-Bangladesh-ferry-fire Bangladesh ferry fire kills 37 people