Bhola-bound launch gets stuck in hidden char
Reported by: UNBconnect
Reported on: Mar 17, 2012 08:54 pm
Reported in: National
Bhola, Mar 17 (UNB) - A launch got stuck in a shoal and partly sank in Meghna in Kaliganj area in Mehendiganj upazila in Barisal, leaving three people missing early Saturday, four days after another launch with 300 on board capsized in the Meghna River in Munshiganj, leaving 147 killed.
BIWTA sources and launch passengers said MV Tipu-2 which left Sadarghat of Dhaka for Daulatkhan of Bhola at 6-30 pm on Friday, got stuck in a shoal (hidden char) in the Meghna River early Saturday with 500 passengers and huge goods on board.
A few minutes later, a strong current took the launch towards Mehendiganj Launch Ghat and the vessel hit a coconut tree near the river bank and got stuck there creating a crack in its bottom which developed into a hole at the dead of night.
River water started to pour into though the hole resulting in the bottom deck of the triple deck vessel sinking, causing panic among the passengers.
The passengers from the lower deck managed to climb up the upper decks and rooftop of the sinking vessel.
At one stage, they jumped into the river and managed to swim ashore leaving their luggage and goods behind in the launch, said passengers Mamoon and Siddique.
The passengers and launch crew said two unidentified children and an old man could not leave the bottom deck and went missing.
The three reported missing passengers could not be traced till 6-30 pm Saturday.
Meanwhile, the master and the crew of MV Tipu with the help of the locals dragged the vessel with the help of ropes into the shore and managed to repair its bottom in the afternoon.
Later, the empty launch left for the capital for repair.
On Tuesday, the Dhaka-bound MV Shariatpur-1 with 300 on board capsized in the midstream as it was hit by an oil-laden cargo vessel at Kishorir Char in Gazaria upazila in Munshiganj district at 2-30 am, leaving 147 dead.