At least six people were killed and about 25 missing as a launch capsized on Sunday after being hit by a cargo ship in the Shitalakkhya River in Narayanganj.
The launch started for Munshiganj from the Narayanganj launch terminal, carrying some 50-60 passengers, when it was hit by the cargo ship MV Ruposhi-9 at Sonakanda point at around 2pm.
The shipping ministry, the Shipping Department and the deputy commissioner of Narayanganj formed separate committees to investigate the incident.
Police seized the cargo ship.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has restricted plying of any sunken decks (small launch) from Narayanganj to any route since Sunday evening until further notice, BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq told TBS.
The officer-in-charge of the Narayanganj naval police station Moniruzzaman Monir said bodies of six people were recovered till Sunday evening. But their identities could not be confirmed.
Fire Service Media Officer Shahjahan Shikder told TBS that there were 50-60 passengers on the vessel. The agency recovered five bodies, including two children, a girl, a woman and a man.
Five of the deceased were identified as a girl child aged about 10 years, two boys aged about 3, a girl below 18, and a woman aged 28 years. Besides, the body of one Jaynal aged 50 was recovered by the local people and handed over to the fire service.
A 35 second video clip which went viral on the social media showed that a big cargo ship kept moving along the mid-river with a small launch stuck in its front part. The launch sank after some time.
A witness said the cargo ship ran over the launch near the new bridge in Narayanganj. The cargo ship did not stop although people from other vessels shouted.
BIWTA Deputy Director (naval security) Babu Lal Baidya told TBS that it is primarily assumed that the accident was caused because of the carelessness of the cargo master. The actual reason will be revealed after investigation.
The shipping ministry formed a three-member probe committee with Joint Secretary (TA, audit and law) ANM Bazlur Rashid as the convenor. The committee has been asked to submit its report within three working days.
Another three-member committee formed by the shipping department made the engineer and surveyor Obaidullah Ibne Bashir its convenor and asked them to submit the probe report within 15 working days.
Besides, the Narayanganj DC formed a six-member inquiry committee with Additional District Magistrate Mohammed Shamim Bepari as its convenor. The committee was asked to submit its report by today (Monday).
The BIWTA announced Tk1,50,000 for each of the families of the deceased.