Dhaka: At least four persons were killed and 11 others went missing when a boat carrying around 50 passengers capsized in the middle of Padma river in Bangladesh.
The incident took place in Shibganj Upazila of Chapainawabganj of Bangladesh on Wednesday noon. At least 20 people were rescued alive. The rest were not rescued until the evening.
The rescue operation was stopped around 6.30 p.m. due to darkness.
An official said the rescue operation will resume on Thursday morning.
The boat was on the way to Dasarshia Ghat from Pakar Boglauri.
Citing the survivors, one Saber Ali Pramanik said, as it was the market day in Dasarshia, the boat carried potatoes, eggplant sacks, and coconuts. Also, several bicycles, as well as passengers, were on the boat. The passengers objected but their protests were ignored by the boatmen.
It is being suspected that boat sunk due to overloading.
The four deceased have been identified as Nilufa Begum, 50, wife of Khairul Islam of Bisharshia village, Maisha Khatun, 5, daughter of Babu Ali of Narayanpur in Sadar Upazila, Asmaul, 5, and Ayesha, 3, children of Fitu of Sadar Upazila.
Nilufa Begum’s brother-in-law and Union Parishad member Durul Huda said Nilufa’s husband Khairul Islam, grandson Md. Asmaul (9) had two more relatives in the boat, who are missing. Citing the boatman, Durul Huda also mentioned, there was wind and strong current in the river due to a cyclonic signal.
Farid Hossain, OC of Shibganj Police Station said all the passengers drowned when the boat carrying huge of goods and overloaded passengers. The locals rescued the bodies of two of them from the river. He mentioned BGB and fire service divers are conducting rescue operations.
The boatmen were yet to identified, Dewan Azad Hossain of the Fire Service control room told IANS on Wednesday night.
By Sumi Khan