Boat capsized due to fire onboard, at least 11 dead

boatAt least eleven people were killed when an engine boat was capsized in Surma river in Chhatak Upazila of Sunamganj district. The boat was jam packed; about one hundred labors and their children were coming back to home from a stone quarry.

It was Monday night; fire broke out from a kerosene stove and quickly engulfed the boat. People on board jumped into the river. More than sixty passengers on board managed to swim ashore, eleven dead bodies were recovered by security forces. Those bodies are badly burnt. Fire brigade divers were searching for dead bodies till the last report came in. Dense fog and chill is hampering the rescue operation.  It is not clear how many souls were on board, it is thought that about twenty five are still missing.

Bangladesh relies heavily on water transportation system but safety is a big concern. About ninety five percent small and medium boats lack minimum safety measures. Moreover overloading is a common incident.

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