Panchagarh tragedy

Recovery of three persons still missing uncertain

01 October 2022

Staff Reporter :
The search operation for the remaining three missing persons after the boat accident in Panchagarh district continued for the sixth day, but the hope of recovering them is uncertain.
Members of the Fire Service and Civil Defence carried out their search operation on Friday, saying that the hope of getting them is uncertain.
However, they would carry out the search operation for the next two days. So far 69 bodies were recovered till Wednesday after the sinking of the engine-run boat in the Karatoya River in Boda Upazila of the district.
"Our assumption is that the remaining three bodies have either been washed away in the river or dumped under the sands. We have informed the matter to the higher authority. They have directed us to carry out
the operation for two more days," Tushar Kanti Roy, Station Officer of Panchagarh Fire Service and Civil Defence Station said.
He also said that around 70 rescuers and divers from Rangpur, Rajshahi and Kurigram divided into three groups have been conducting the combing operation at the Aulia Ghat since 6am. Besides, the fire service units of Debiganj, Khanshama and Birganj are also carrying out separate operation.
According to district administration, the recovered 69 bodies were handed over to their family members but it was still unknown how many passengers were on the board of the boat. But family members claimed that three bodies were still missing.
The three persons were Bhupen, son of Madan Chandra from Debiganj Upazila, Suren, son of Khogendranath from Boda Upazila and Joya Rani, daughter of Dherendranath from Panchagarh Sadar.
Of the 69 deceased, 45 were from Boda Upazila, 18 from Debiganj Upazila, two from Atwari Upazila, three from Thakurgaon and one from Panchagarh.  Of them, 30 were female, 21 children and 18 male.
The overloaded boat sank in the Karatoya River near the Aulia Ghat area on last Sunday when it was heading for the Hindu rituals of Mahalaya at the Bodeshwari Temple.
On the first day, 25 bodies were recovered, 26 were recovered on the second day, 17 on third day and one on the fourth day.
The probe committed in its preliminary report said that overcrowding was the major cause of the accident.
Meanwhile, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan on Wednesday said that there was negligence of the administration behind the boat accident.
"People in the Panchagarh district had never seen a boat accident like this. I have seen negligence here. The concerned persons of the Ghat did not play due role," he said.

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