Launch capsizes in Patuakhali: 35 rescued28 January 2014 bdnews24.com
Locals have rescued 35 persons from the capsized launch in Patuakhali. Many are still trapped in the sunken vessel, said one of the rescuers. The authorities, however, claimed that almost all the passengers who were on board the ill-fated launch had been rescued.
According to Patuakhali river port officials, the vessel, 'Shatil-1', sank after being hit by a Dhaka-bound boat, 'Anchol-2', around 6pm on Monday.
The sunken vessel was going towards the Patuakhali district headquarters from Rangabali.
The river port's Deputy Director Badrul Alam told bdnews24.com that local trawler and boat owners had rescued 35 passengers till 7:30pm.
One Md Jewel Ahmed, who took part in the rescue operation, told bdnews24.com: "Some of us tried to enter the capsized launch but failed.
"It seems people are still trapped as we saw clothes and shoes floating in the river."
None of the sunken vessel's staff members have yet been traced.
The local people claim the boat went down with almost 100 people, but the authorities claim there were not so many passengers. Everyone had been rescued, claimed the local authorities including Patukhali's Additional Superintendent of Police Md Azimul Haque.
Divers from the Fire Service and Civil Defence are yet to reach the spot even an hour and half after the accident.