Eleven die in boat fire

REF:  Rescuers have so far fished out 11 bodies from the Surma river in Sunamganj after a boat caught fire and sank on Monday night.

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The police and fire service divers along with locals resumed rescue efforts on Tuesday morning after the fog cleared , Sunamgnaj’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Harunur Rashid said.

 


The boat sank around 9pm on Monday after it caught fire. Six bodies were recovered until 3am, when the rescue work was stopped due to heavy fog and cold.

Five more bodies were found after the rescue effort resumed on Tuesday morning, said Sub-station Officer of Chhatak Fire Service Md Tareque.

One of the dead, a female, has been identified as ‘Rokeya’, he said.Tareque said the bodies recovered were hard to recognise as they are severely burnt.

There are two minors among the dead, according to rescue-workers.Most of the passengers of the ill-fated boat were workers of a stone quarry at Sunamganj’s Chhatak Upazila.

They were heading for Kishoreganj’s Nikly, Mitthamoin Upzilas and Netrokona’s Khaliajhuri Upzaila, according to SP Rashid.

The boat, containing 15-20 children and women, caught fire from a stove and sank as the passengers panicked and triggered a stampede.

It sank at Pratapapur in Sunamganj’s Doyarabazar Upazila.Around 40-45 passengers managed to swim to safety but more than 50 others are still missing, rescue operators and locals say.Doyarabazar Police’s Sub-inspector Harun said they apprehend the death toll could rise.

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