Bangladesh ferry fire: Death toll rises to 36
DHAKA: At least 36 people died when a packed launch caught fire on the Sugandha River in the southern district of Jhalakathi early on Friday, Dhaka Tribune reported.
Officials said the death toll is likely to rise as many passengers sustained burn injuries when a fire swept through the Barguna-bound “MV Obhijan” after midnight, it said.
As many as 36 bodies have been recovered so far from the burnt launch, said Deputy Commissioner Zohor Ali, the Jhalakathi district administration chief.
More than 70 passengers of the launch have been sent to the local hospitals, Fire Service Deputy Director Kamal Hossain Bhuiyan, according to the report.
The fire is believed to have originated in the engine room and then ripped through the launch packed with people, he said.
The three-story launch was carrying over 500 passengers, according to Jalakhati Sadar police station OC Khalilur Rahman.
Flames erupted around 3am when the launch reached the Dapdapia area. The vessel then went to the Diakul area of Jhalakathi Sadar upazila and dropped anchor on the river bank.