By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, June 30 (IANS) Bangladesh State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said the boat capsize in the Buriganga river that killed 34 people was a “deliberate murder”, and not an accident.
The Bangladesh government formed a 7-member probe body to look into the incident.
The Shipping Ministry formed the probe team on Monday.
The double-decker ‘Morning Bird’ launch with over 50 passengers coming from Munshiganj sank in the river after being hit by Chandpur-bound vessel ‘Mayur-2’ while anchoring at the Kathpatti ghat near Shyambazar in the capital’s old town at 9:33 am on Monday morning.
The sunken launch was pulled out by rescue workers 26 hours after the accident.
“After watching the CCTV footage, it seems that it’s not an accident, it’s a deliberate murder incident,” the minister for shipping said.
The minister also said the government will launch an investigation into the incident to identify whether there was negligence on the part of the launch owners.
Witnesses said there were over 50 passengers in the launch. Although several passengers managed to swim ashore, many went missing.
Members of Fire Service, River Police, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Coast Guard launched a rescue operation after the accident and recovered several bodies on Monday.
Besides, a man was rescued alive on Monday night 13 hours after the launch capsize.