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Bangladesh ferry fire kills at least 30

Bangladesh ferry fire kills at least 30
65 injured passengers have been rescued while operations are still going on, says fire service official

By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – At least 30 bodies have been recovered and 65 people have been rescued after a fire broke out early Friday on a passenger ferry in the Sugandha River in Bangladesh, according to official sources.

“Until now, we have recovered 30 charred bodies and 65 passengers with burns. Our rescue operation is still going on,” Lima Khanam, a duty officer at the Fire Service and Civil Defense Headquarters in the capital Dhaka, told Anadolu Agency by phone.

Local sources said the number of dead and injured may rise as many passengers jumped into the river after the fire spread throughout the Ovijan-10 commuter ferry, which is locally called a launch.

Khalilur Rahman, officer in charge at the Jhalakathi police station, told reporters that there were more than 500 passengers inside the ferry headed to the southern district of Barguna and the ferry started its journey from Dhaka's Sadarghat Launch Terminal Thursday evening.

“Many jumped inside the river and were able to reach land as the fire broke out and rapidly spread,” Rahman added.

The injured passengers have been admitted to local hospitals and clinics on an emergency basis while the most critically injured will be shifted to Dhaka.

Launches are very popular water commuter ferries in Bangladesh, a riverine country in South Asia, and thousands of people journey by launches every day from Dhaka to the country’s southern regions.

Due to rough weather, incidents of launches sinking are very common in the delta nation of nearly 170 million people. But such deadly fires are very uncommon.

The reason for the fire is still unknown while fire service officials said they would investigate the cause after rescue operations are completed. The fire is widely suspected to have originated from the ferry’s engine.

source: News Feed
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